Fakenham got the second half of their league season underway with a home fixture against Norwich Union on Saturday, their first league fixture of 2017. The Xmas and New Year break had given time for knocks and bangs to heal but the question was, had it taken the edge off the Fakenham challenge? The answer was an immediately obvious and resounding no as a charge down by the home side’s scrum half Harry Richardson provided the first try of the game within the first couple of minutes and this was converted by the ever-reliable Tom Bane-Young, 7-0. The visitors were obviously rocked by the speed of the score but
they built up a head of steam, using their strong forwards to gain territory but the Fakenham defence was as good as ever, knocking down the ball carriers and competing for the ball. Union lost the ball and found themselves chasing Fakenham’s quicker, stronger backs as they ran the ball back with interest and added another try, this time from George Ready (the first of his trio of tries), the conversion by Tom B-Y took the score to 14-0. The home side were not however having it all their own way as Union launched a concerted attack and Fakenham had to be at their defensive best, forcing errors or turning over possession and launching a counter attack of their own as Ian Williamson with plenty of support cut a good line through the Union players and ran free, drawing the last line of defence and slipping a pass to the nearest support player, George Ready, to score his second try of the game, again converted by Tom B-Y 21-0. Fakenham were almost immediately on the attack again from the restart and the support player this time was Fly Half Tom B-Y who ran in the try, which he converted himself 28-0. The four try bonus point was secure well before half time with Fakenham scoring 28 points in 21 minutes. A fifth try was scored by vice-captain Josh Sperring and again converted by Tom B-Y (35-0) after the Fakenham pack had pressed and harried the Union forwards. Great performances from Ashley Stewart, Colm Hunt, Howard Kellock and captain Adam Lingwood leading from the front with some excellent carries kept Fakenham moving forward. Half time arrived without further addition to the score leaving the home side in with a comfortable lead of 35-0.
The second half started with an expansive attack by Fakenham culminating with George Ready rounding off his hat trick, scoring under the posts to make the conversion simple for Tom B-Y 42-0. Fakenham then seemed to be content to defend and Union taking full advantage had their best spell of the game as they controlled the majority of the next 20 minutes, pressing Fakenham back into their own 22 metre area for long periods. In one such attack Union breached the Fakenham defence to score a well-deserved converted try to get them onto the scoreboard, 42-7. Union continued to press for further scores but Fakenham’s defence was resolute under continued assault from the visitors who possibly deserved more from this game. Union’s luck was typified by Fakenham’s last score (and the last score of the game), Union were attacking and knocked the ball on, Fakenham scooped the ball up and drove forward, with two quick rucks and some great inter passing the backs flowed down the field providing Joe Bane-Young with a try out wide on the left wing but the conversion missed it’s mark to leave the score 47-7 at the final whistle. Paul Richardson was happy with the majority of Fakenham’s game but there are still some issue to iron out at the next training session. As Norwich seconds had a great win over Diss seconds Fakenham move back again to the top of EC2 North by a clear 3 points.
Next Saturday will see the Fakenham 1st team return to Dereham for their next League game while the 2nd team, is also away at Crusaders, both games kick off at 2:00pm.