Mon 27 Mar 2023 09:09

Dorking Raid on Vikings Home Turf


North Walsham Vikings 19 – 48 Dorking


By Jon Watts



In 1962 local Norfolk police officer John Mansfield together with local headmaster Ken Marshall formed North Walsham RFC. PC Mansfield’s contribution to this quest was going around in uniform rounding up the local youth. Interestingly, a similar thing happened at Dorking in the 1980’s when John Milner, DRFC Chairman at the time and an Inspector with the Surrey Police, had a novel way of reducing crime in the Dorking area by encouraging potential miscreants to get into the Inspector’s good books and away from the magistrates’ court by making the choice to play rugby for Dorking RFC. I leave it to you, dear reader, to muse over who these characters (now model citizens in their 50s and 60s) might be.


And so to the game at North Walsham. A proper club with great support. Lunch was a superb 4 course affair including excellent local ham and all served up by club members. The President’s table even had a decanter of port to pass around. As I said, a proper rugby club. (Gurd please note – Ed)

I arrived a little late for kick-off and heard the referee’s whistle going ten to the dozen and all at Dorking’s expense. Once this episode of ‘setting the tone’ had died down the game settled into a pattern with North Walsham not allowing Dorking much room to play out of their own half and them pressing the Dorking line. A neat grubber from fly half Matt Hodgson was pounced upon by the appropriately named winger Mustard to open the scoring 5-0.


Cam Cowell responded with a jinking run to offload to Mikey MacDonald who was held short before releasing Toby McRea for the first of his 4 tries. The conversion drifted wide and it’s 5-5. McRea again, this time a solo effort down the left wing beating several defending players for a second unconverted try. 5-10.


Then one of three expensive (for Dorking) well judged kicks by fly half Hodgson has centre Dan Smith collected the bouncing ball to score down the right wing. 12-10. Another fine kick from Hodgson M was again allowed to bounce freely and his brother Will collects and commits the Dorking defence to offload to his supporting brother who steps the final defender and scores. 19-10.


Half Time.

Wind and slight slope in Dorking’s favour - recent rain and slippery conditions. McRea on fire and puts Fred away 19-15. The Dorking pack are also on-song for sure and steal a North Walsham line out to collect, maul and drive to the line for Finn Osborne to break away and score under the posts. 19-22


A penalty kick at goal from Walsham’s Matt Hodgson drifts wide. A subsequent penalty to Dorking is kicked to the corner and another fine driving maul sees Osborne get his second, unconverted and it’s 19-27. From the vantage of hindsight it’s easy to see the game now inexorably going Dorking’s way - but North Walsham were maintaining a threatening presence and, not until another fine driving maul for Henry Anscombe to move the ball wide for McRea to cut in under the posts, could the travelling faithful finally erase the memories of that last play of the game loss the previous season. It’s now 19-34.


There’s more to come and after a series of pick and go plays at the opposition line Captain Fred goes over for his second. 19-41.


Finally, it’s that man Tobemory McRea again in a training ground move that sees Henry Smith popping the ball blind and into space for the National 2 East League’s leading try scorer to race in under the posts for his fourth try. Henry Anscombe converts to underline his position as National 2 East League’s highest points scorer. Well done. A great game of rugby played in good spirit by both sides. Dorking’s pack maintained a dominance that allowed the back line to overcome some initial uncertainty and come through all guns blazing.


Final score 19-48 and a nice birthday present for our fantastic DoR Armand Roux.


Next up it’s some unfinished business against Tonbridge Juddians at home.


Armand Roux commented:

“I’m very pleased with the result today as we had to re-assess our approach at half time with North Walsham playing the conditions well.

It was hard to play against the wind as we found out in the first half and we used that to our advantage while putting an outstanding second half performance in to secure the 5 points on the road.

Some great performances today and standing out was Toby sticking to his try scoring form alongside Finn in the pack

Very proud of this special group of players and showing some real resilience

The Dorking support was also fantastic so far away from home”


Dorking: 15. Michael McDonald; 14. Adam Musa, 13. Jeffry Ryan, 12. Henry Anscombe, 11. Tobemory McRae; 10. Cameron Cowell, 9. George Jackson; 1. Thomas Powell, 2. Jonathon Ellis, 3. Thomas Bristow; 4. Daragh Chambers, 5. William Scholes; 6. Tyler Norwood, 7. Frederick Dalton, 8. Finn Osborne. Replacements: 16. Callum Watson (for Ellis, 78 minutes), 17. Max Sheldrake (Powell, 32), 18. Stephen Howorth (Norwood, 32), 19. Henry Smith (Jackson, 78), 20. Andrew Ramsden (Ryan, 35).

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