Vikings so close to success
Luton 20, North Walsham Vikings 18The defeat cannot be ignored but the performance, particularly in the second half, was nothing short of superb. The Vikings outscored their hosts three tries to two but both the Luton touchdowns were close to the posts while Walsham's were nearer to the touchlines.
Luton 20, North Walsham Vikings 18
The defeat cannot be ignored but the performance, particularly in the second half, was nothing short of superb. The Vikings outscored their hosts three tries to two but both the Luton touchdowns were close to the posts while Walsham's were nearer to the touchlines.
In their first real attack Luton full-back Pepe Nanci took advantage of a missed tackle to touch down and convert for a seven-point lead.
Unfazed, Walsham took the game to their hosts. A high kick by Clifford took a fortuitous bounce and Gideon Strydom took the catch and scorched to the line from 40 metres (unconverted).
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Excellent Walsham defence kept Luton at bay until centre Zander Pedan stepped out of a tackle, touching down behind the goal (converted).
The Walsham pack began to take control. In the set-pieces Tom Browes clearly had his opposite number in trouble while Al Turner had arguably his best game for Walsham, capped with a late try.
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Luton extended their lead early in the second period with a penalty. Play was severely disrupted when Peter Clifford was grounded after a hard tackle. He was later released from hospital with serious ligament damage. Play resumed after a 45-minute delay with Walsham under the cosh but the defence, with Josh
Reeves, Jon Kelly and Chris Godwin outstanding, was impenetrable.
A Treglown penalty reduced the deficit. Treglown and Godwin made defence-splitting runs but the break came from a five-metre line-out. Turner's throw was cleanly taken by Beck, Godwin was stopped short before the ball was shipped to Strydom who touched down in the right-hand corner.
With 10 minutes remaining left Nanci slotted a penalty and it looked all over for Walsham, but they stepped up the pace. Loose took a pass 10 metres out and Turner on his outside dived in at the corner.
Treglown's kick from a foot inside the line brushed the outside of the far post, denying Walsham at least a draw.