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Vikings face tough encounter

PUBLISHED: 10:49 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 10:27 13 July 2010

WITH the end of the current season rapidly approaching, North Walsham Vikings are still searching for their second win of the year and this Saturday they have potentially one of the hardest games imaginable.

WITH the end of the current season rapidly approaching, North Walsham Vikings are still searching for their second win of the year and this Saturday they have potentially one of the hardest games imaginable.

Visitors Bracknell must have had high hopes of at least a top-two finish when they beat champions-elect Jersey on the opening weekend. Currently they lie fourth in the table two points behind Hertford but with two games in hand should be looking at third place.

In the away fixture Walsham put up one of their best performances of the season grabbing a last minute draw with a penalty from Justin Loveridge.

Just how daunting Walsham's task could be can be seen by looking at last Saturday's result when they steamrollered relegation candidates Sutton & Epsom 67-0 running in 12 tries with nine players making touchdowns and centre Ben Nowak converting eight.

Bearing in mind the way the Walsham defence has been playing, few clubs have claimed a four try bonus point, the result of this one should be somewhat closer. The Vikings have a pretty good points against stat and it has been their indiscipline that has been their downfall on too many occasions with penalties rather than tries that have been their undoing.

The coaches are unlikely to tinker with the squad and those who travelled last week felt that the second half line-up in the backs looked solid.

If they go with that combination it would mean the breaking up of the Bruce van Poortvliet/Jamie Burroughs centre partnership with the former moving to the wing a position he has already filled this season. The forwards also looked solid and young Ben Campbell looked assured when he came on for a couple of spells.

The Warriors, having had a resounding win against Norwich Medics last week, travel to Watton.

On Wednesday, Lowestoft and Yarmouth will be at Scottow for the semi-final of the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup with a 7.45 kick-off.

Tring 20, North Walsham 17

This was yet another battling display that ended in disappointment for Walsham in a game that was desperately close throughout, with the result settled only in the final couple of minutes.

The losing bonus point will be scant consolation, and the Vikings can reflect on one or two poor tactical decisions and the usual bout of indiscretions that cost them a deserved draw.

Justin Loveridge put three points on the board with a drop goal then Newton put the hosts in front with a converted try. Leon Davies was millimetres away from a touchdown but the referee had spotted an infringement and Loveridge took the three points.

Newton chipped ahead, gathered, touched down and converted. With the game flowing from end to end Loveridge pulled three back with a penalty then Tom Coller got his first try for the club.

With the scores level Walsham were playing their best rugby of the game.

Both sides were guilty of indiscretions and Newton and Loveridge swapped penalties.

Just when a well-deserved draw looked to be on the cards, Newton was handed another shot at goal and from a couple metres short of the halfway line made no mistake.


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