North Walsham RFC woe at defeat

North Walsham Vikings 13, Gravesend 17North Walsham Vikings were left wondering how they managed to snatch National League Three London and SE defeat from the jaws of victory against Gravesend on Saturday after a fine display of rugby.

North Walsham Vikings 13, Gravesend 17

North Walsham Vikings were left wondering how they managed to snatch National League Three London and SE defeat from the jaws of victory against Gravesend on Saturday after a fine display of rugby.

Gravesend struck the first blow after an early Vikings infringement and fly-half Gary Gray slotted the first points of the match through a penalty.

This appeared to settle the home side, however, and throughout the first half the home side kept control of the game.


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North Walsham were finally off the mark when from a line-out the ball was moved along the backs to Shane van Vuuren, who took it to the five-metre line.

A neat inside pass to outside centre, Adam Couzens, saw him side-step two players before touching down in the corner for a fine try.

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Mark McCall added another five points before half-time after the forwards drove the ball over the line following a five-metre line-out won by the Walsham forwards.

Early in the second half Iain Young added another three points for Walsham before they were presented with a huge gift and they will be kicking themselves for not have taken advantage of it.

First Gravesend's second row Ziggy Stevens was shown a yellow card by referee Nick Hickman for killing the ball and minutes later their number eight Sox Stevens followed him to the bin to present Walsham with a two-man advantage.

However, Walsham just couldn't take advantage and they came to regret it later in the match.

When up to their full quota, Gravesend piled on the pressure with a converted try in the corner. With 10 minutes to go Adam Couzens was sin-binned for the home side.

With five minutes to go Gravesend won a scrum against the head and were able not only to score a final try but to add the conversion, to leave Walsham astounded to be trailing by four points.

With just two minutes left, Walsham could not get back and a delighted Gravesend took the early-season honours.

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