Fakenham hosted an improving Norwich second team for this EC2 north league game on Saturday. Norwich brought along their strongest team of the season to challenge the hosts who, at the start of the day, were top of the league on points difference. The game was a tense affair with both side’s defences holding firm and cancelling out each other’s attacking endeavours. Fakenham tried hard to press Norwich but the final break just would not come so when Fakenham were awarded a penalty they decided to kick for points, unfortunately the kick was pushed slightly right and missed its target. Both teams continued to attack with Fakenham having a slight edge with most of the play in the Norwich half. Nic James joined the fray from the bench to make his Fakenham debut and slotted straight into
the game. Fakenham forced themselves forward again and when a second penalty was awarded the chosen option was to ask Tom Bane-Young to kick again and this time it was successful 3-0 to start the scoreboard rolling. From the restart Fakenham again pressed forward with great ball carrying from Howard Kellock, Richard Warren and Matthew King along with some great ball stealing at the rucks from Henry Hepworth-Smith and Rory Singleton. Fakenham drove once more into the Norwich half and were once again awarded penalty for another Norwich infringement. Fakenham’s captain, Adam Lingwood, decided to kick for the posts again and Tom B-Y struck home the kick to extend the lead to 6-0. The half time whistle blew soon afterwards with both sides welcoming the respite and a chance to refocus on their approach.
The second half saw Fakenham take more control of the game but the task of scoring was still not easy against the well organised Norwich defence. Five minutes into the half Tom B-Y and Man of the match, Neil Williamson combined well to give Neil a good scoring opportunity, he still had some work to do but forced his way over the line to score the try and the conversion was good from Tom B-Y 13-0. Norwich responded and pushed deep into the Fakenham half and ex Fakenham player Nathan Wilson went close in a sea of bodies but the referee didn’t have sight of the ball and couldn’t award a try. From the resulting 5-metre scrum Fakenham managed to clear their lines. The game became more open with both teams spending time in each other’s 22-metre area but the defences still held strong. Fakenham launched a committed attack working down the field into the Norwich 22-metre area but lost the ball only for Norwich to knock-on to give Fakenham an attacking scrum. The ball was won and with a great angle and swatting of one would be tackler Tom B-Y raced for the line under the posts to score the try and kick the conversion 20-0 with 15 minutes to go. Norwich again pressed Fakenham from the kick off but because they were chasing the game and time was running out, handling errors halted their progress. Fakenham would have the last word on the scoreboard however when Tom B-Y kicked yet another penalty to take the final score to 23-0. Coach Mike Curry was pleased with his sides tenacity against a fit, strong and determined Norwich squad to take the points from the encounter, unfortunately with no bonus point from the game it does mean that Fakenham drop to second in the table by just one point as Diss managed a bonus point win in their game.
Next week, Saturday 5th November, will see Fakenham travel to West Norfolk in the next round of league matches and Fakenham seconds will host title contenders Southwold seconds at home. As the clocks have gone back the kick-off times now move to 2pm so don’t be late for kick off.