North Walsham and Norwich to do battle in Norfolk Senior Cup Final at West Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 08:55 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:10 15 August 2019
North Walsham take on Norwich in the showpiece match at the Norfolk RFU Big Rugby Day at West Norfolk's Gatehouse Lane ground on Saturday.
The old rivals meet in the Senior Cup final (5pm) in a repeat of last season's game at Diss, which the Vikings won 42-14.
Norwich reached the final with a narrow win over Thetford while the Vikings were handed a walk-over by Diss.
Having had a three week break since their final league game Vikings lead coach Johnny Marsters will have no problems around fitness and having given the players a break has staged three full on sessions to ensure everyone is focussed on the task in hand.
It is likely he will have just two regulars missing, with Chris Godwin having called a halt to his season and prop George Youngs having a long time family commitment. Godwin's place on the flank is likely to be taken by Ed Sampson, whose season has been affected by injury and work commitments, with Dane Canning taking Youngs' shirt and Neumi Rokodinono going to the bench.
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Norwich, who go into the game after a four week break, will be without Conan Hoey, Tom Lloyd and Rob Micklethwaite.
Director of rugby David Everitt described the game as a David and Goliath affair, saying: "North Walsham have enjoyed a very impressive season, finishing third in the league above us.
"In addition to scoring plenty of tries, they also had a sound defensive record. All of this points to an easy victory for them. However our coach Lee Parry has a plan to try and upset the odds."
He added: "Injuries, non-availabilities and the long break from the end of our season have not helped our preparation but the players are up for the challenge."
North Walsham Raiders will face Holt firsts in the Norfolk Intermediate Cup final while the Junior Cup final sees Holt seconds take on UEA. There are also six junior finals on Sunday.
Meanwhile Eastern Counties' season gets under way on Saturday with first and second teams travelling up to Sale to take on Cheshire in a double header.
Eastern Counties Ladies, who lost their opener 20-7 at Hertfordshire, hit the road again on Sunday to take on Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire at Newark.