Vikings must not be complacent

NORTH Walsham Vikings will travel to Sutton and Epsom on Saturday buoyed by the hard-won 12-11 home win over Tring last weekend and the knowledge that in the home fixture they beat the Hertfordshire rugby side quite comprehensively.

NORTH Walsham Vikings will travel to Sutton and Epsom on Saturday buoyed by the hard-won 12-11 home win over Tring last weekend and the knowledge that in the home fixture they beat the Hertfordshire rugby side quite comprehensively.

But there must be not a shred of complacency in their approach. There was quite a bit of emotion in the changing room after the Tring game, mainly because this was a true team performance and the players knew how much the win meant to everyone at the club.

Sutton and Epsom have had a similar season to the Vikings, winning the same number of games, but they suffered a

45-point defeat at the hands of Barnes last week which will have dented their confidence a bit.


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The Walsham coaches will almost certainly be able to pick from the same squad as last week with competition for the back five enhanced if lock Josh Reeves has recovered from the bout of illness, and prop Aki Downing from the back muscle problem picked up against Tring.

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North Walsham Vikings 12, Tring 11

With other results going their way, this win for North Walsham lifts them three places up the table, and was a reward for sheer utter doggedness and a refusal to accept defeat.

Tring were in front for over an hour until Peter Clifford slotted the conversion to Tom Holt's second try in 77th minute.

But Walsham's players and supporters will look back to those games that have gone the other way, when effort was simply not enough and three were lost by a single score.

Given the heavy conditions and the fact that both sides could be classified as strugglers, the quality of the rugby on display rarely reached a particularly high level.

Vikings conceded a soft try when a defensive slip in the seventh minute gifted the lead to Tring with a try for centre Andy Gregg.

Then came a 10-minute period midway through the half when Vikings were down to 14 players, with Chris Godwin in the sin-bin. Tring were camped 10 metres from the Walsham line and so well organised was the defence and so resolute was the tackling that they could not breach the line.

Five points up at the break, Tring were further buoyed when Walsham conceded two penalties in the first dozen minutes of the new half and Liam Chennells extended the lead to 11 points.

Walsham took the game into the opposition half and following some swift movement by the backs, skipper Tom Holt squeezed in at the right-hand corner, too far out for Peter Clifford to convert.

The coaches made the brave decision to re-jig their back line by moving Clifford to outside half and bringing Will Farrer on for his return after two months out with injury. His introduction gave the attack a whole new dimension.

Walsham passed up the chance of a certain three points by running a penalty, but failed to score. They lost teenage replacement prop Dom Roberts to the sin-bin and scrums went unopposed.

With the clock running down, yet another forceful run by Farrer sucked in the defence, the ball was shifted right to Ball, who swapped passes before Holt crossed in the right-hand corner, but tracking towards the posts to give Clifford a nail-biting conversion attempt. Despite the pressure, the strike was erfect and the lead had to be defended for just a couple of minutes.

North Walsham Warriors 23, UEA Medics 22

Skipper Alan Hepburn judged this to be the most competitive game of the season and the best win against a lively young Medics side who put the first score, a converted try, on the board.

Tony Kingsmill and Chris Borrett combined well, with the latter making a touchdown. The visitors responded with a try and Kingsmill slotted a penalty just before the break.

Play was tight at the start of the second half, with Medics turning over possession to score. Quick response saw wing Dan Bancroft score a try, but it was quickly negated by Medics. With seven minutes left, Dean Blyth made a break and Will Quinn was on hand to add five more points. With 90 seconds remaining, Walsham won a five-metre line-out and after several phases Andy Bickle sealed the win with his first try for the club.

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