Fakenham travelled to Norwich rugby club intent on keeping the run of winning results on a roll (having won every league game bar the opener) but realising that Norwich seconds had beaten 2nd place Diss seconds earlier in the season.
Fakenham certainly hit the ground running, pressing Norwich back from the start with a concerted attack down the left wing, Some great handling and support play saw captain Adam Lingwood cross to score the first try but it was unfortunately unconverted 0-5. Fakenham continued to press the game down the left flank and after a chip kick from Tom Bane-Young the Norwich right wing knocked on, gifting Fakenham a scrum. The Fakenham forwards had been dominant from the start of the game and this scrum was no different. The ball was moved to Tom B-Y who, with a pre-planned move, dummied one pass then straightened and passed to his brother Joe Bane-Young to score close to the posts, Tom score the conversion 0-12. Norwich were at this stage at sixes and sevens so Fakenham then switched their attack to the right wing and forced a lineout, the ball was won and a drive around the front saw Ashley
Stewart score the third try 0-17. Norwich made a brief foray into Fakenham’s territory before they were pushed back again into their own 22m area. From a forward break Colm Hunt and Ashley Stewart forced the pace and Ashley scored his second try of the game, converted by Tom B-Y 0-24 and the bonus point was secure. Fakenham again attacked from the kick off moving the ball quickly and running at pace down the left wing, the ball finally found captain Adam Lingwood and he outpaced the defence on the outside to eventually score under the posts and Tom B-Y converted 0-31. This was the final action of the first half with Fakenham on a definite high and Norwich feeling totally shell shocked.
The second half saw the Norwich team grow into the game and take the game to Fakenham but as in so many previous games this season the visitor’s defence held firm and turned the ball over again and again. Fakenham’s link play was not quite as clinical as it had been in the first half and this gave the Norwich supporters something to cheer about when they saw their team running with the ball and competing in lineout and ruck. Fakenham did manage to loosen the shackles eventually and attack from 50 to 60metres out in 12 phases of play to put Lloyd Marshall away for the sixth try 0-36. Almost immediately afterward George Ready started his own attack in the Fakenham half and with a mixture of pace and evasive running scored the seventh try for Fakenham, which Tom B-Y converted 0-43. Norwich scored a long range try with Fakenham falling off some tackles and some great offloads by Norwich, the home side had deserved something for their endeavours in the second half and their spectators were finally rewarded with a good long range try, unfortunately the easy conversion was missed 5-43. The final try of the game was a testament to the Fakenham forwards who had provided a great platform all game with Rory Singleton driving over in the right- hand corner from a maul 5-48. Lloyd Marshall took the conversion attempt and was successful to take the score to 5-50. At the end of the game there was a difference between the score the referee had and that of the report writer, the official score for league requirements was 5-46 (it seems the ref had missed recording two of the conversions). Coach Mike Curry, unfortunately laid up having had an ingrowing toenail removed, would have been proud of the team’s work ethic even though Fakenham’s intensity dropped in the first half of the second period.
Fakenham seconds also had a good win at home against Beccles seconds 82 -26 in the EC3 North league fixture but unfortunately will not play again until 4th March with an away game to Southwold seconds. Next week should see Fakenham 1st XV play the next round of the Norfolk Plate but as yet the draw has not been published. Keep an eye on the Fakenham Rugby Club website for further detail (fakenhamrugby.com).