Old Haberdashers 20 Vikings 10 Report from Graham Price
High error count costs Vikings dear
Although leading into the final quarter at Borehamwood, a disappointing display by North Walsham resulted in a loss by two tries to one.
On what should have been a confidence building afternoon prior to next week’s delayed home clash against top of the table Brentwood, the Vikings failed to cope with the heavier home pack at the set piece, and made too many errors at key times.
Despite playing with the slope, and having the advantage of the stiff cross wind, Walsham were behind to an Ian McGhee penalty after 5 minutes following a foot in the ruck.
Then a Jordan Mustard run was followed by a James Knight punt over the defensive line, allowing the latter to gather his own kick and touch down. Lee Thomson converted the goal.
A Mike Braans and Will Hodgson interplay failed to go the distance before OH open side George Seabrook ran two thirds of the way up field, only to knock on in the tackle with the line at his mercy.
The Walsham defence remained sound, with Will Swart prominent, as the visitors turned round 7-3 to the good at the break.
A patient restart by Walsham had them working methodically through the phases up the slope before Thomson added a penalty on 53 minutes.
Luckily Haberdashers handling and ball control was often also wayward, with attacking positions lost at vital moments.
Into the final quarter, Walsham failed to release in the tackle, the 5 metre scrum allowing a pushover try for OH number 8 James Clark, McGhee drawing his team level with the conversion.
A speculative Haberdashers drop kick was just short of the crossbar, before Jim Riley broke away, only to be called back for a forward pass.
Following a high tackle, a McGhee penalty took the lead, before Seabrook blazed over in the corner with two minutes to go, and McGhee added the extras.
Head of Rugby James Brooks felt that OH played the narrow pitch better than his team,that his team’s defence was good but offensively they were not good enough, with the error count too high at the set piece.
Lachlan Brown-Bates was the Chalk Hill Brewery man of the match.
Team:- 15/ Josh Brown 14/ Jordan Mustard 13/ Mike Braans 12/ Will Hodgson 11/ Jim Riley 10/ James Knight 9/ Lee Thomson(18/ Jake Duffield 70m) 1/ Lachlan Brown-Bates 2/ Will Swart 3/ Tom Browes (16/ Tim Weber 41m) 4/ Ryan Oakes © 5/ Todd Scotland 6/ Tom Knight (17/ Will Haynes 50m) 7/ Chris Godwin 8/ Roydon Miller.
Scorers:- Try:- J Knight. Conversion:- L Thomson. Penalty:- L Thomson.
Head of Rugby:- James Brooks. Playing Director:- Alan Hepburn.
Manager:- Mark Oakes. Physio:- Graham Ilsley.
Referee:- Katherine Ritchie. ( Herts Soc.,)