Norwich Medics 18 – 23 Fakenham – Eastern Counties 2N

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With a heavy pitch and inclement weather this game was always going to be a tough challenge for Fakenham. A late unavoidable call off by Lee Mason caused Fakenham to re-jig the team with Mike Curry coming off the bench and cap'n Bob Sayer stepping in to front row replacement role, despite this Fakenham started well, their defense stepping up from the beginning to shut down the dangerous Medics runners. Fakenham soon put phases together in a simple but effective move putting the ball through virtually all of the backs for Adam 'Keith' Steele to score in the corner, Tom Bane Young converted. 5 minutes later sustained pressure forced a penalty which TBY converted making the score 0-10 after ten minutes. As the half progressed Medics were allowed to get in to their stride and they retained good ball to be a constant threat but the Fakenham defense held and their pressure forced many mistakes by Medics. One such forced mistake led to a stray ball that Lloyd Marshall pounced on and beat the first defenders, he then sprinted clear and fed Tom Bane Young who

had supported well and deserved the try, which he also converted. This led Fakenham to relax a bit, allowing Medics to run at them and they then proved how dangerous they were, creating space out wide to allow a try under the posts. Then Cap'n Bob decided to lead by example and got sin-binned to further increase the pressure on the tiring Fakenham team who were really pleased to see the arrival of half time. Medics started the second half in the better form with a penalty converted either side of Bob Sayer returning to the field, followed by a period of play of very high intensity where neither side could get points. Fakenham's forwards had expected to dominate the scrum but with Medics renowned for their mobility and strong back line and back row it was Fakenham's backs who were under the cosh but they stepped up heroically and stopped play after play, especially the back three who nullified the Medics kick chase game through good support and decision making, time after time. With the light fading Fakenham thought the game may be called off early and lost focus briefly which allowed Medics to take the lead with an unconverted try in the corner. This galvanised Fakenham and they took back control of the game, putting phases together and keeping the ball in hand, which led to Medics giving away penalties in kickable positions. TBY stepped up and kicked two penalties in the last five minutes to take back the lead and then consolidate it with the last kick of the game. When the final whistle went the elation of Fakenham was clear, they knew they had been in a really tough game but they earned the win they deserved with a massive team performance that could have named any of the seventeen players man of the match, (the award went to Harry Richardson) except cap'n Bob who quite rightly nominated himself for a different award for being yellow carded and giving away more penalties than the rest of the team put together.
There is no league action next week due to cup games with Fakenham at home to Swaffham in what looks to be an interesting tie as Swaffham are at the lower end of Division 1 whilst Fakenham are now 3rd in Division 2. The ko is at 2:00.