North Walsham set to go head-to-head with local rivals at Scottow
PUBLISHED: 16:21 26 October 2017
It is local derby day at Scottow on Saturday (3pm) as the two most senior sides in Norfolk, North Walsham and Diss, lock horns in league action for the first time since 2014.
Although the clubs have met 22 times since 1994 the majority of meetings have been in the Norfolk Cup, with only four in the league.
Having been relegated at the end of the 2013-14 season Diss almost have made an instant return but failed to win their play-off game.
Last season however they stormed back, dominating the table, to finish 15 points clear of South Woodham Ferrers. This term they have made a steady start with a three wins from seven record and last week lost only narrowly to Eton Manor.
Vikings coach James Brooks was pleased with the manner in which his side saw off South Woodham last week but will know that Diss will provide stiffer opposition.
Selection could be difficult as James Knight and Josh Brown failed to complete the game but their withdrawal from the action might have been strategic as the game was well won at the time. Up front there should be changes as Acky Downing is expected to return to the loose head which will leave Brooks with options to resolve as Tom Browes, Tim Weber, Lachlan Brown-Bates and Will Swart all have the credentials to fill the front row.
Skipper Ryan Oakes, free of work commitments, will return to the second row, probably alongside last week’s man-of-the-match Roydon Miller. In the back row there could be a return for Will Hodgson after a frustrating lay-off, but his return could be from the bench.
The make-up of the back line will depend on the situation regarding Brown and Knights, who is due to make his 100th appearance. Having made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2006 he went travelling for five seasons before returning. Having missed another full season with a leg injury his journey to 100 caps is almost certainly the most lengthy in the club’s history.
The Raiders entertain Diss Saracens and are hoping for an earlier kick-off so that they can support the Vikings in the second half.
Holt will be aiming to make it six successive wins in London Eastern Counties Three on Saturday when they welcome bottom-of-the-table Lowestoft & Yarmouth to Bridge Road.