Vikings face a battle

LAST week North Walsham faced and were defeated by the league leaders Shelford, and it doesn't get any easier this week the opposition at Scottow is second placed Barnes.

LAST week North Walsham faced and were defeated by the league leaders Shelford, and it doesn't get any easier this week the opposition at Scottow is second placed Barnes.

In the away game, the first time the sides had met, the West London side were winners 36-25 and played some good rugby working off their back row. They have maintained their form throughout the following weeks. To put into perspective how hard this game can be, two weeks ago they inflicted the first defeat of the season on Shelford, winning by 20 points.

Walsham's cause will not he helped by injuries suffered last week. Adie Ball seems certain to sit this one out and scrum half Lee Sandberg is also doubtful with a knee injury. With Will Farrer and Jamie Burroughs both sidelined, just who fills Ball's centre slot is problematical.

If fit, Pena Sokia could fill the slot as could Chris Godwin, but it would weaken the back row of the scrum so much juggling for the coaches during the week.

With Gideon Strydom having returned home to South Africa, scrum half options are limited so they will be hoping that Sandberg is fit but if not then they could call on another of the club's promising youngsters Alexander Graf-Grote to pair up with David Treglown.

The Raiders travelled to Barking last week for their first game since late November and tasted defeat. This week they go to play Bury St Edmunds in the Eastern Counties 2nd XV Cup while the Warriors go to West Norfolk in pursuit of Merit Table points.

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On Sunday Morning the U15s begin their Norfolk Cup campaign with a home game against Norwich (kick off 11am).

At 6pm there is to be a charity game for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of former Walsham player and local policeman George Campbell. George's son Matthew has arranged the evening which will take the form of a three team round robin tournament. He will skipper the George Campbell XV against the Norfolk Police XV and a Walsham side based on the Warriors with no doubt several of George's former teammates pulling on their boots. The evening will take the form of three games of 30 minutes duration.

North Walsham Warriors 32, NURFC 5

Warriors entertained NU (formerly Norwich Union) in the Woodfordes Merit table with a side, running out relatively easy winners but were made to fight for the points.

Wing Dan Bancroft scored first his try converted by Rhys Davies-Horne. Tom Bennett was next following a chip ahead by Tony Kingsmill and close to the break the industrious Mike Charman forced his way over.

Bancroft added a second early in the new half, young replacement Ben Campbell celebrated his senior debut with an unconverted try and yet another youngster Ed Salmon completed the Walsham scoring but in the dying seconds the visitors gained well deserved points when hooker Steve Knights made the final touchdown.

In the Norfolk U13s Cup Walsham went to Fakenham and eased their way into the second round with a convincing 17-0 win.

Shelford 32, North Walsham 0

After North Walsham's London Division One win against bottom team Haywards Heath, a clash away against top-of-the- table Shelford was always likely to be different proposition - and so it proved.

Shelford dominated play before Walsham could settle down, while infringements within kickable distance and some missed tackles didn't help the visitors' cause as they drew a blank.

After just 12 minutes, Walsham were 14-0 down. The visitors then started to compose themselves, dig in and put some attacking phases together. Walsham had a decent spell of pressure but were unable to cross a well defended line.

Walsham's pack remained as solid as ever, with No 8 Chris Kent catching the eye, but points remained elusive as Shelford's speed of recycling and quick wide game continually beat the Walsham defence.