Vikings beaten by a point
North Walsham 22, Lydney 23In spite of the fact that their relegation was already confirmed North Walsham desperately wanted to bow out of National League rugby on a high note on Saturday.
North Walsham 22, Lydney 23
In spite of the fact that their relegation was already confirmed North Walsham desperately wanted to bow out of National League rugby on a high note on Saturday.
But although they built an early lead they lost to old rivals Lydney by just a single point, with the final score coming two minutes from the end.
The Vikings showed that for all their problems they still possess flair and caught the visitors cold in the first minute.
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A scrum 40 metres out was the starting point and the ball was swept to the left. A missed pass went straight to Andy Thorpe who marked his final game for Walsham with his 13th try of the season (unconverted), taking his points total to an impressive 585 in seven seasons.
Within three minutes Young kicked a penalty to the edge of the 22.
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The line-out provided quick ball and Chris Godwin weaved his way through and Young's simple conversion was followed quickly by a penalty for offside.
The 15 points on the scoreboard certainly woke Lydney them up and they spent the next 15 minutes testing the Walsham defence, which held firm until an overlap was established on the left and flanker Dean Jenkins made the line.
Walsham were quick to strike back when Lee Sanderg grabbed a loose ball, sending Rob Clymer into space. When he was closed down his pass found Tom Holt who coolly chipped and rounded the defence to touch down between the post, with Iain Young converting.
Lydney struck a killer blow within a minute of the start of the second half when, with Walsham on the attack and looking likely to extend their lead, outside-half Mark Davies intercepted and just out-paced the cover to touchdown.
Two Lydney strikes within three minutes brought the gap down to two points. Davies converted a penalty and then nipped in for a second touchdown, which he converted.
Smith threw on all his replacements and the added power of Jason Applin nearly brought success but although he crossed the line he was adjudged to have been held up.
With two minutes to go a controversial decision handed a penalty kick to Davies, who took his personal tally to 18 points.
More than a few supporters accurately summed the game up as a reflection of the season in general, particularly the second half as the records show that, of the 10 defeats, six were lost by five points or less.
Having said farewell to several stalwarts and overseas players, the rebuilding must start immediately.