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Mini Youth Senior
North Walsham 86 Norwich 8
North Walsham 86 Norwich 8
With North Walsham having been serious contenders for promotion from the League above, the outcome of this Norfolk Cup Final was expected, but Walsham cruised to a big win in much easier circumstances than they may have anticipated 86:8. They were facing a depleted Norwich side that was forced to play people out of position, with backs and forwards interchanged to try and plug the spaces left by their long injury list and absenteeism.
There is no substitute for pace and North Walsham’s backs had that in abundance and it proved to be the significant difference between the two sides. Norwich were unable to cope with that pace, once the ball was moved into the wide channels, coupled with accurate passing and creative lines. A very early example of this was aptly demonstrated after 3 minutes when poor tackling out wide allowed them to cruise round and score under the posts.
From the restart, Walsham were penalised for holding onto the ball and Mike Lawton landed the kick with the very strong wind behind him.
The restart found North Walsham reduced to 14 players when Josh Wilson was taken out in the air, fielding the kick-off. This made little difference to Walsham as they repeated their previous score by evading tackles down the right wing. Walsham’s third try came from a great line, run through the middle of Norwich’s back line with good support play.
Whilst Norwich’s pack were more than up to the task of standing toe to toe with their opponents, the difference in pace and penetration out wide, left Norwich floundering and struggling to cover the holes.
Walsham scored again, and shortly afterwards Josh Wilson was carded. Walsham ran in three more, almost identical tries, before Norwich got one back when the forwards battered the line repeatedly and stand-in second row Rudyard Gant dived over. Lawton’s kick hit the posts.
With the score at 47:8 at half time and the wind in North Walsham’s favour, the game was over as a contest and it was simply a question of how many more tries Walsham would run in, before the final whistle.
Norwich made ground when they kept it tight, but were unable to find any penetration when they moved it wide, Walsham using their quick runners to cover across well, closing down the space for Norwich’s wide runners to operate in.
Walsham played to their strengths and sensibly fed the ball out to their backs whenever they had possession. They continued to run through the Norwich cover, with some fine offloading, until they concluded their afternoon with a final score of 86:8.
Norwich will be very disappointed that they were unable to make it a closer game, but their strengths and weaknesses from the season were evident in this game.
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