Vikings ready for final home game of successful season

James Knight makes a break for North Walsham against Thurrock. Picture: HYWEL JONES

James Knight makes a break for North Walsham against Thurrock. Picture: HYWEL JONES - Credit: Archant

The final away game of a long London One North season sees North Walsham heading down the M11 to play Saffron Walden.

The sides have had contrasting seasons, with the Vikings in fourth position and their hosts joint seventh.

While Walsham were beating Thurrock last week Saturday's hosts found themselves on the end of a 62-7 drubbing at the hands of Old Priorians.

Although nothing hangs on this game coach James Brooks will want to maintain momentum with just a home game against Old Priorians and the Norfolk Cup Final to come and will be looking to a successful end to his first season at Scottow.

Selection will throw up a couple of problems as two of the front row, Acky Downing and Tom Browes will be unavailable, Downing was replaced after 25 minutes last week with back problems which need time to mend and Browes has family commitments. The vastly experienced Jonny Masters and Mark McCall are likely to step in.

The back line will be without centre Mike Hendry who has returned to Australia. His most likely replacement is Mike Braans.

The Raiders are due to travel with the Vikings to play a friendly against Saffron Walden II.

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Last Saturday the Raiders beat a strong Norwich Lions side 22-10 in the semi-finals of the Norfolk Bowl to join the Vikings at the Norfolk Big Rugby Day at Holt on May 6.

A long range penalty put Norwich in front but within minutes of the restart wing Vilikesa Vurewa broke down the right to score and Aaron Beaumont converted.

Vurewa was then held up close to the line and Archie Haynes was on hand to pick up and dive over before a converted try to Norwich reduced the arrears before the break.

The Raiders were on the front foot for most of the second period. A few dropped passes meant that scoring opportunities were limited but veteran No 8 Chris Kent got close before replacement Jon Younie crossed the line to stretch the lead to seven before, with 10 minutes remaining, Harry Dye touched down to seal the win.

Relegated Holt play their final match of the season when they host the only side below them in the London 2NE table, Campion. The Romford side should be boosted by their first win of the season against Ipswich.