Vikings back in league action

NORTH Walsham Vikings resume their league programme on Saturday with a trip to Basingstoke.When the sides met at Scottow in October last year the Vikings lost 17-10.

NORTH Walsham Vikings resume their league programme on Saturday with a trip to Basingstoke.

When the sides met at Scottow in October last year the Vikings lost


Since then Basingstoke have had a decent run and are nicely placed in fifth spot in the table.

They have a good finisher in left-wing Glen Lewis who has 13 tries to his name and full-back Andrew Fitchett lies well up in the kicking stats.

After having fielded a somewhat makeshift side last week the coaches should be able to revert to a more stable line-up.

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The Raiders are scheduled to travel with the first XV but may struggle to find numbers able to make the trip.

The Warriors, who had a good win over Wymondham last week, host Holt IIs in a Merit Table game.

North Walsham Vikings 13, Beccles 0

No problems for North Walsham as they made their way into the semi-finals of the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup with a hard-fought win over Beccles.

The rugby on offer largely matched the weather, dull and uninspiring.

Walsham were quick to put points on the board when from a line-out Tom Coller, outstanding all afternoon in both line-out and loose play, took the catch, dropped the ball into the hands of Pena Sokia who blasted his way through the defence to score.

Beccles fought back and had a penalty attempt but Luke Wade's well-struck kick hit the top of a post and rebounded into Walsham hands.

Justin Keyser made a good break from the back of the scrum but what Walsham lacked in attack was more than compensated for by their defence and good work by Loose and Ball held the line.

Neither side was able to build a platform but the visitors were well drilled and were able to thwart the efforts of Walsham's makeshift back line although both youthful wingers Sam Rhodes and Matt Jarry-Ryan were able to show some pace and nifty footwork.

Also, Ross Nicholson, making his first start for the senior side, impressed with his tackling and ball carrying.

Walsham lost Iain Young on the half- hour with a hand injury and had to reshuffle the back line, and the remainder of the half was mostly fairly forgettable.

Chris Borrett made his entrance after an absence of two-and-a-half seasons and showed the old pace and sidestep is still there.

Beccles lost flanker David Rix to the sin bin but Walsham were unable to take advantage of the extra man although most of the second period was played in Beccles' territory.

Borrett put Rhodes into a gap and he made good yardage before Adie Ball was stopped five metres out but soon increased the lead with a penalty.

Beccles hammered away and showed why they are challenging for promotion but always found one defender too many.

Tony Kingsmill made his return with ten minutes to go, as replacement flanker.

With time running out Sokia made a break from the back of a scrum five metres from his own line and scorched upfield and started what was to be the final, but most impressive, phase of the game.

A couple of driving mauls close to the line brought no success but a third ended with Soul Phoenix claiming the score just ahead of the final whistle.