Fakenham hosted a pre-match lunch before this EC 2 North league match against local rivals Dereham. The game was hard fought with both sides wanting to win the game for their league position and to have the upper hand in the derby match.
Fakenham started the better of the two sides putting pressure on the visitors right from the kick-off camping in the Dereham half and determined to get the opening score. After a series of scrums, rucks and mauls on the Dereham 5 metre line a quick pass to Steven Clay saw him launch himself at the visitors try line, although the defence tackled him he was not to be denied and forced his way over to score the try. The conversion by George Ready was too accurate, hitting the crossbar to deny him the extra two points 5-0. Fakenham pushed forward again but had to work hard for every yard. Good work from Kellock, Warren and Singleton took Fakenham to just outside Dereham’s 22m area when the visitors infringed and gave the home side a penalty shot. Paul Richardson stepped up to take the kick and bisected
the uprights to take the score to 8-0. Dereham then forced the pace of the game and launched a concerted attack taking them into the Fakenham half and then on to their 22m area but the home side’s defence held firm. Fakenham failed to clear their lines fully and soon found themselves defending the try line again, eventually Dereham breached the defence to score an unconverted try. The game reached half time with Fakenham in the lead 8-5.
The second half began with Fakenham on the attack but no score resulted from the initial forays. The game was more balanced than the first half with Dereham seemingly rejuvenated and wanting to win the game. Fakenham’s defence again held firm in the face of some fierce driving attacks from the visitors but small mistakes from Dereham handed the ball back over to Fakenham. The next attack forced Dereham to infringe and give Fakenham a penalty chance, captain Adam Lingwood opted to take the kick, and Paul Richardson was again successful and increased the lead to 11-5. The intensity of the game once again increased and the pressure on both sides soon mounted, causing both teams to make mistakes and take the wrong options. A penalty opportunity for Fakenham saw Steven Clay attempting the kick (which was more favourable to his left foot) unfortunately the kick just missed the mark. Dereham were now attacking with added venom chasing the result but they were penalised once again at a ruck, their frustration was obvious being so close to the line only to be thwarted again. This let Fakenham clear their lines and work their way up field and with time running out the last play was a kick to touch to bring the game to a halt and the final score 11-5 to Fakenham. The result has put Fakenham into second place in Eastern Counties 2N although next weeks game could be a hard one at Medics.
Fakenham first team travel to Norwich Medics for the next round of EC2 North league fixtures and Fakenham seconds will host Diss 3’s in the next round of EC3 North league games. Senior rugby training takes place on Tuesday nights at Fakenham Rugby Club from 7pm, beginners and improvers are welcome to train with us.