North Walsham Raiders confirm second place with 33-0 away win

Jim Riley offloads during another North Walsham attack at Ruislip. Picture: Hywel Jones

Jim Riley offloads during another North Walsham attack at Ruislip. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

With six changes from the previous week's winning side, including makeshift halfback and centre partnerships, the Raiders showed they have strength in depth, scoring five tries and keeping their opponents scoreless for the first time this season.

Medics were quick out of the blocks but as previously the back line was equally swift in advancing to meet the challenge and set the pattern for the full 80 minutes with solid defence and as a result their line was never threatened.

Having soaked up the early pressure the first attack brought the first points. Tom Coller, who was imperious all afternoon, took a lineout on Medics' throw. The ball went to the midfield, young centre George Masdin punched a hole in the defence and fed fellow centre Henry Hunt who went in under the bar and Ted Morgan slotted the first of four conversions.

Medics struggled to get into the Raiders 22 as the defence marshalled by skipper George Rossi drove them back. Midway through the half Hunt shrugged off a couple of tackles to make it a double.

Despite a safe half-time lead coach Johnny Marsters and skipper Rossi had some harsh words about sticking to the patters and above all reducing the penalty count.

The instructions were taken on board and acted upon and the second half started with a bang as the two experienced front rowers Tim Weber and Dane Canning drove into defenders, Weber was held up a metre out and popped the ball to Canning who dived over.

Marsters made the first change bringing on Tawanda Kandemwa to the left wing and having showed some good defence he was on hand when Archie Haynes burst through to take the offload and score the bonus point try. Morgan, who had been kicking beautifully out of hand, sent the conversion inches inside the far post.

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With five minutes remaining inside centre George Masdin spotted a gap and shrugging off a couple of tackle went in under the bar.

With champions Fakenham beating third placed Diss Saracens the win consolidated the Raiders' second place in the Eastern Counties One North table which means they will get some interesting fixtures against new opposition in the second part of the season.