This game, against Woodbridge, may have just about secured a 5th place finish in this very competitive London 3 EC League. After completing the double over their high-flying local rivals, Holt, last weekend the large crowd were looking forward to this last Fakenham home fixture of the league season.Fakenham started this game like they finished the last one, right on top of their form. With some swift hands and good ball retention, the home side worked their way up to the oppositions 22m and were duly rewarded with a scrum. The scrum was driven forward allowing Luke Taylor to pick up and pass to Lloyd Marshall who then popped the ball flat for Jordan Walker to burst onto which broke the Woodbridge defence and he scored under the posts. The try was converted by Lloyd Marshall. 7minutes into the game and 7 points up, it was looking good.
The game was only flowing one way and hopes were high when Fakenham had a lineout 10 meters short of the away sides line. Rory Singleton threw the ball in short which deceived Woodbridge’s forwards, and Rob Ward powered over unassisted for a fine try. Lloyd Marshall kicked the conversion from out wide to make it 14 in 14 minutes.
Some chinks in the Fakenham armour then appeared as they gave away a string of penalties because the support for the tackled player was too slow. The Fakenham defence, however, was as accurate as it was brutal, especially from Damon Howick and Jordan Walker. Lloyd Marshall slotted 2 penalty kicks between the poste to further extend the lead, but the lead was then reduced when Woodbridge scored a converted try by good work from their number 10. Not to be outdone, Fakenham struck straight back after some good work from Joe Bane-Young who made a half break supported by Rob Ward. Rob’s pass put Jordan Walker into some space which he made good use of, almost making the line. Ashley Stewart then took the ball the rest of the way with some excellent support play. Half Time 27 - 7.
Fakenham started the second half well with some fine pick and go work and were unlucky not to score on a number of occasions. This phase of play lasted for about ten minutes, then the game began to turn.
Woodbridge were looking fitter and were being tenacious in the tackle, turning ball over many times and as the first half belonged to Fakenham so the second half belonged to Woodbridge. After much pressure the away sides number 8 went over for an unconverted try after a dynamic run off a scrum, reducing the Fakenham lead to 27 - 12. The missed conversion was to prove costly for the visitors however.
Two more converted tries by Woodbridge, the final one being the last play of the game, saw them lose by just the one point, 27 - 26. The visitors well deserved a lot of credit for the way they came back, earning them 2 losing bonus points. The win gave Fakenham 4 points but also left them scratching their heads as to what went so drastically wrong in the second half.
Next week sees the final London Counties fixture of the season for the 1st XV with an away game against Ipswich YM, kick off 3:00pm.
Fakenham travelled to local rivals Holt last Saturday for this London Counties 3 EC league game fully knowing they would be in for a tough game as Holt were in the top three and vying for promotion, along with Wymondham and Ely. Holt had lost to Fakenham in the home fixture and would be out to reverse that result and keep their promotion hopes alive. As the game kicked off Fakenham wanted to lay down a marker and forced Holt back, Josh Gee went on a maizy run from the right wing to the left but was eventually tackled deep in the host’s 22 metre area. The attack came to nothing and fired Holt into action.Fakenham defended well and eventually broke out as phase after phase drove down the pitch. Following a ruck Tom Bane-Young fainted to go but fed captain Jordan Walker who launched himself into a physically much larger player, knocking him to the ground whilst his impetus took him through two other tackles before he fed Gee who finished the move off with an unconverted try 0-5.
Holt fired back into the Fakenham half and were awarded a penalty from which they decided to go for goal, the kick was good and the score 3-5. Holt’s tails were up and they took the game back to Fakenham, forcing the visitors into their own half as they moved the ball swiftly to put their right winger away around the outside to score an unconverted try 8-5.
Fakenham responded immediately and attacked again into the Holt half when Tom B-Y broke the
Fakenham travelled to Ely on Saturday fully expecting a tough encounter as the Tigers were in a top three position and had also beaten Fakenham in the home fixture in November.
From the start Fakenham enjoyed a period of pressure deep in the hosts half early in the game but handling errors meant the pressure was not turned in to points. The portents were soon obvious when Ely, in possession at their22, drove forward and outflanked Fakenham to score a converted try wide out on the left 7-0.
From the restart the game moved back and forth before the visitors launched an attack with some swift handling and they engineered a break for winger Brett Stolworthy who took his opportunity to score the try, converted by Lloyd Marshall 7-7.
Ely attacked down their left wing again and scored an unconverted try to regain the lead,12-7. Soon after in a last-ditch attempt for foil another Ely attack Murray Tindall received a yellow card for a high tackle and Ely made the extra man count , scoring another converted try, 19-7.
Fakenham fought hard to keep a buoyant Ely from increasing the score, but a further try was run in down the left wing and with the attempted conversion hitting the post it increased the lead to 24-7.
Not to be outdone Fakenham rallied and forced the pace, creating an opening for
After a week off from league action Fakenham welcomed top of the table Wymondham in this pulsating London 3 Eastern Counties League game. A lively start from the home side saw them dominate the first ten minutes with Wymondham unable to get out of their own 22. Tom Bane-Young burst through Wymondham’s defence and Jordan Walker was unlucky not to take the pass which would have seen him score. A short while later Murray Tindal nearly made the line but was pulled down just before. It was then Lloyd Marshall’s turn to come close with some lovely interplay between him and Rory Singleton. Fakenham did manage to cross the whitewash after a scrum when scrum half Luke Taylor when blind, a quick ruck and the ball was spun out to Tom Bane-Young who crashed through the defence to score under the posts. Lloyd Marshal converted to make the score 7-0 to the home side.
If the first ten minutes belonged to Fakenham then the second ten minutes belonged to Wymondham who scored a good try from a driving lineout. The conversion bounced off the post to leave Fakenham in the lead, 7-5.
Both sides must have been a little disappointed with their ball retention as many turnovers were occurring which made for an open and exciting game for the large crowd. Wymondham finally went ahead for the first time after 35 minutes of play with a well worked try that was converted from the touchline. The lead did not last long as
After ten minutes play Thurston seemed slightly the stronger side, but Fakenham’s Tom Bane-Young placed a speculative kick into the away teams 22. The ball was allowed to bobble and roll with indecision from the Thurston defence, however Murray Tindal pounced on the ball to score, converted by Lloyd Marshal.
Thurston regrouped and drew level five minutes later with a well-rehearsed rolling maul, but not to be outdone, Fakenham once again took the lead shortly after with a good move from a pressured scrum 40 meters out. Fakenham’s scrum half, Luke Taylor, just managed to get the ball out and passed it to Jordan Walker who hit the line at and he scored a remarkable, individual try under the posts, converted by Lloyd Marshal.
Just to keep up the pattern of the game, Thurston once again drew level after some good work from their centres and, it must be said, some less than impressive tackling by the home side.
The game was now staring to open up with some powerful play from Joe Bane-young, Jack Powel-Thorne and