Vikings reach final
North Walsham 69, Wymondham 6
Free of the worry of their relegation fight, the Vikings eased their way into the final of the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup on Saturday.
In contrast to the somewhat stuttering midweek performance against West Norfolk, this was a much more fluent display, and once Walsham had established a decent half-time lead the ball carrying and support running was at times a joy to watch.
Walsham were first on the scoreboard when Jake Harris slotted a long-range penalty, but the lead was wiped out three minutes later when Steven Simms equalised.
Walsham lost Chris Godwin to the sinbin from the restart when he was deemed to have taken the ball catcher in the air. Wymondham were unable to capitalise on the extra man but could have gone ahead when flanker Richie Howlett broke through but lost his footing when clear.
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Both Walsham props had a hand in the first try. Dom Roberts took a high clearance in his own half, sending Barry Frost away and Tim Weber made good ground before Frost retook possession to score, Harris adding what was to be the first of eight conversions.
Simms pulled three points back but from the restart Jack Hoyles ran straight back on a defence-splitting run to score and a few minutes later staged almost an exact repeat with hardly a hand being laid on him.
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Wymondham had their chances, Soul Phoenix bursting through on to a pass but knocking on, and when they had scrum five metres from the line the ball came to centre Barry O'Sullivan who looked odds on to score but his former Norwich teammate Ewan Wilson flew off the line to drive him backwards.
With a 16-point half-time lead Walsham were quickly out of the blocks and within seven minutes of the restart they had two more tries on the bag.
They took a scrum against the head and Tom Coller got to within a couple of metres before popping the ball to Chris Kent to complete the move. And then Leon Davies took the restart ball and sent Lee Sandberg off on a long run, crossing next to the posts.
Nick Greenhall made changes, Henry Dewing replacing Sandberg while Adie Ball, returning from injury, took over from van Vuuren.
Wymondham had a good spell, but as they visibly tired Walsham ran riot and in the final quarter crossed the line five more times.
After some fine interpassing Jake Harris touched down twice to take his personal points total to 29. Rhys Davies-Horne, on for Hoyles, ghosted in, Roberts capped a fine performance with a 25 metre run in from the restart and right at the death Tom Coller made good ground before handing on to Dewing for the final try.
Reeds Weybridge 15, North Walsham 15
Although level on points after 70 minutes North Walsham U17s ended their season with defeat in the final of the London Division Bowl at Farnborough on Sunday.
But it took the rarely-used penalty shoot-out to decide who went through to the national semi-final.
Once again Walsham were under strength with school and Duke of Edinburgh Award activities denying them the services of five key regulars, but in their places the coaches called up members of the U16 to fill the gaps and all blended well with the regulars.
Walsham got off to a shaky start when the Reeds fullback hit the line at pace and burst through a gap to score between the posts.
Walsham after 15 minutes won a strike against the head and several phases later Harry Calvert drove over wide out. A penalty for offside and a try by the left wing put Reeds well on top with a 15-5 lead at the break.
A Harry Barratt penalty brought the gap to seven and it was mostly one-way traffic. Harry Calvert thought he had scored but mistook the five-metre line for the tryline and was penalised for a double movement.
With time running out Toby Fletcher made a break before feeding Henry Harrison to finish off and Barratt converted a real pressure kick.
The final two minutes was all Walsham. The forwards put several phases together, crossing the line – but the ball was held up.
So to the penalty shoot out and the Reeds' outside half proved the most accurate and they took the trophy and the place in the national competition.
But the Walsham lads can be proud of their never-say-die performance.