Vikings aim to continue winning

Having managed back-to-back wins for the first time this season, North Walsham rugby players will be hoping to make it a hat-trick when they visit Bishop's Stortford on Saturday.

Having managed back-to-back wins for the first time this season, North Walsham rugby players will be hoping to make it a hat-trick when they visit Bishop's Stortford on Saturday.

The October meeting at Scottow ended with a 22-15 win for the Vikings but for some the defeat at Stortford last year still rankles. It was the first game in the lower division following relegation and it seemed that even the most experienced players had difficulty adapting to the change of style that prevails at this level. Those problems should not manifest themselves this time around.

The Hertfordshire side have played two games fewer and hold ninth place to Walsham's eighth, a single point separating the sides.

While Walsham have found try scoring something of a problem, their defence in recent weeks has been impressive and in the last two games they have conceded just three points and their try line has not been crossed in nearly three hours.


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The Raiders, who resumed their season with a 10-22 reverse against Bury St Edmunds, are due to travel with the first team while the Warriors have a home fixture in the Woodforde's Merit Table against Crusaders 2nds.

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North Walsham 18, Haywards Heath 3

After almost a month's lay-off North Walsham marked their return to action with a well-deserved victory. At half-time the Vikings looked set for a big win against a side third from bottom in the league, with two tries and an early penalty resulting from vintage Walsham flowing rugby giving them a 15-0 advantage.

But the second half was a different affair. Haywards Heath came out the more attacking team and, despite never breaching a very solid Walsham defence, made sure their hosts got nowhere near the four-try bonus point.

A penalty within easy kicking distance, was accepted by fly-half Justin Loveridge gratefully accepted.

Haywards Heath had three opportunities to equalise but full-back Owen Ashton had a bad day. Walsham, started to put some excellent phases of play together. The centre pairing of Jamie Burroughs at 12 and Bruce van Poortvliet at 13 found the weaknesses in the Heath defence.

Walsham took a five metre scrum and pushed Heath to their line to open the opportunity for No 8 Pena Sokia to dive over for a try close to the posts, converted by Loveridge.

Winning a line-out, Youngs and Burroughs broke through the defence, sucked in the Heath forwards and, with a four-man overlap, play was on the Heath line again. Prop Alex Soutar powered over for a try close to the corner flag, the conversion going wide.

The second half, by comparison, was lacklustre and finished with three points apiece. Indiscipline helped Heath open their account from a penalty.

After 10 hard-worked phases of play, Walsham gained a penalty in front of the posts, which Loveridge slotted over.

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