Henley Hawks 41-14 North Walsham
A brace of tries each from Scotty White and Sam Lunnon saw Henley Hawks power their way to a convincing victory over North Walsham at Dry Leas on Saturday afternoon.
Whilst perhaps not quite reaching the same levels of performance that they hit against Bury St. Edmunds the weekend previous, which in part was down to the tenacious defending from the visitors, but also part wastefulness, it was, nevertheless, an encouraging display which lifted Henley up to fourth in the National 2 East league table.
The Hawks started the game on the front foot, building patiently through the phases. and White powered over from close range with only four minutes on the clock following a powerful catch and drive. Henley’s set piece was dominant throughout the game, giving them an excellent platform to build from. Max Titchener was successful with his conversion attempt.
Both sides were wanting to run the ball at every opportunity, and with Titchener and Adam Hakimian pulling the strings in midfield, Henley were making plenty of yards. Another penalty kick to the corner gave the Hawks a second driving maul opportunity and this time hooker, Istok Totic was the man to put the finishing touches on an excellent team move.
Poor discipline was hampering the Vikings efforts, and two yellow cards in quick succession left them with significant defensive frailties, and despite defending stoically, they succumbed to a third Hawks try courtesy of the ever-present Lunnon who spotted a gap on the blindside to cross the whitewash.
At 19-0 and down to 13-men, it looked like it might be a long afternoon for North Walsham, but an excellent Ethan Holmwood try on the stroke of half time gave them hope.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first with Henley centre, Harrison Hall touching down out wide for the Hawks bonus point. This was followed quickly by a second from Lunnon who powered his way over the line to dot down under the sticks, giving Titchener a straightforward conversion.
The Vikings hit back with a superb Tawanda Kandemwa score, who evaded several errant tackles on his way to a try of the week contender, before Tom Emery put the contest to bed with another powerful driving maul try for Henley’s sixth. White crossed for his second with 13 minutes left to cap an excellent day for the home side.
All in all, it was another satisfying victory for Henley, who are playing with more confidence than they did for much of last season. Next up is a tricky visit to Kent to take on Sevenoaks, who beat the Hawks 28-24 last November at Knole Paddock, so Henley will be more than aware of the challenge that awaits them.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Henley 2s travelled to Camberley for a friendly and came back with an excellent 38-17 victory following a very impressive all-round performance.
Wood, Gordon (Crow 55), Hall, Hakimian, Scott, Titchener, Webb, Manning (Collins 51), Totic (Emery 51), Mason (Manning 69), Lowe (Ellaboudy 53), Lunnon (Lowe 69), Benning, White, Bradley (Vooght 53)
Reps: Emery, Collins, Ellaboudy, Vooght, Crow
Report by Alistair Beynon and Photo by Andrew Turner