North Walsham Rugby Club well beaten by leaders Thurrock
Thurrock 52 North Walsham 25
A four try bonus point was all that the Vikings accrued from their efforts against table toppers Thurrock on Saturday. A spirited second half in which they just about shared the honours was needed as they were 28-8 down at the break.
The home side had seven points on the board after just three minutes before Chris Borrett cut the deficit with a penalty.
While Walsham dominated up front they contrived to concede two further converted tries and so with barely a quarter of the game gone were 21-3 adrift. The Vikings' young centres Stephen Hyde and Nick Austin then combined well in the centre and made 30m for Thurrock to again infringe at the breakdown. The forwards, well marshalled by Fowles, drove the ball on several times before releasing the backs for Austin to score.
Despite some big tackles from Andy Tibbatts and Shane Van Vuuren, a further try was conceded and converted ending the half at 28-8.
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With the wind now behind them and some tactical reshuffling of positions the half started with Walsham intent on securing territory for their forwards to dominate. On the try line a yellow card was given to a home player and Walsham opted for a scrum. A concerted drive took them over for Tibbatts to make it 28-13.
Walsham were penalised for talking to the official and they too lost a player to the sin bin. There then followed a purple patch from the home side, who ran in three tries from open play with some wonderful passing and handling but again aided by some weak tackling. With the score now at 47-13 the Walsham forwards continued to dominate and worked their way up field with great patience and control. Hyde showed his ability to run and glided through to score a try close in that Borrett converted to make it 47-20.
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Thurrock then scored a disputed try but the decision turned out to be a blessing as the restart from the halfway allowed the ball to be put deep into the Thurrock half. The hosts again set about running it back but were driven back to the 5m line where a penalty was conceded. Kicked to touch for a 5m lineout Thurrock conceded penalties twice more for the same to be repeated. With Coller taking each throw the icing on the cake was achieved when Mark McCall burrowed through for that four try bonus point.
To battle to the end and get a bonus point against the league leaders on their own ground was no mean feat. Sadly the euphoria was curtailed as other results were not favourable.
Wymondham II 25
North Walsham Raiders 31
In a closely contested game the Raiders just kept their heads in front to beat a determined Wymondham side. Tries for Angus Briggs and Harry Downing put the Raiders 12 points up in five minutes but at half time the lead was down to two.
Briggs got his second in the first minute of the second half and Dean Blyth's touchdown took the score to 24-10. Again the home side narrowed the gap with two tries but with the Raiders down to 13 Billy Graham-Park made it 31-20 before another Wymondham try.