Fakenham hosted this top of the league clash for EC2 North on a god, bright, dry and breezy day in front of a large crowd swelled by the pre-match lunch sponsored by new sponsor Peniston. The game started as a tense affair with Fakenham uncharacteristically dropping passes and with a kick charged down in their own 22-metre area that allowed Diss to press forward. Chances were difficult and hard fought for, but the Fakenham mood lifted when George Ready scored a try to put the first points on the board, unfortunately the attempted conversion was caught by the wind and missed it’s target 5-0. Diss responded from the restart but the Fakenham defence held firm (as it has done so often this season so when the home side infringed at
the breakdown, Diss decided to take the penalty kick, the Diss captain kept his cool and bisected the posts to make the score 5-3. The game was starting to flow Fakenham’s way and they had their own penalty chance, unfortunately that missed it’s target. The most controversial point of the game occurred shortly after when Fakenham were attacking well in the Diss 22m area and after a ruck the ball was moved to Joe Bane-Young who drew the defender and released the pass, a Diss defender knocked the ball down and very forward to the ground, it popped up nicely from the bounce and so he picked it up and made the 75 metre run to score the try! The conversion was good 5-10. The referee had been unsighted and the Fakenham players (along with most of the Diss side) didn’t even attempt to chase as they just could not believe it that the game hadn’t been brought back for the offence. At half time the score stood at 5-10, not the score-line Fakenham were hoping for. The break gave coach Mike Curry the chance speak to the players and to settle nerves ready for the second half as a win was really the result Fakenham were after to avenge their only League defeat of the season, they were beaten by just 3 points in the game at Diss a game that was abandoned early when the referee was injured.
Fakenham started the second half with renewed vigour and took the game to Diss pressing them deep into their 5 metre area and after 5/6 phases Ashley Stewart passed from the ruck to prop Richard Warren who dived for the line and scored Fakenham’s second try, wide out on the left wing, Lloyd Marshall added the extra 2 points with a superb kick to take the score to 12-10 and regain the lead. Diss reacted to the score with attacks of their own but Fakenham were now showing why they had only lost one league game all season and they counter attacked with both forwards and backs combining to drive deep into the Diss 22 metre area again. The scorer this time would be a forward, and joint Man of the Match, Josh Sperring scoring the try and Lloyd Marshall again added the extra points to take the score to 19-10. Alan Young, Fakenham’s Director of Rugby said “Fakenham’s forwards have dominated the set scrums today thanks to some excellent work from Nic James, Richard Warren, captain Adam Lingwood, Ashley Stewart and joint Man of the Match Rory Singleton. The back row of Howard Kellock, Colm Hunt and Josh Sperring made Diss work hard for every inch of territory they gained. The backs, Paul Richardson. Tom Bane-Young, Ian Williamson, Joe Bane Young, Luke Taylor, Lloyd Marshall and George Ready have all performed well all season ably supported by the bench of Josh Gee, Harry Richardson. Squad members who have also had a influence on the season include Neill Williamson, Mike Curry, Bob Sayer, Paul Ruston and many others have helped the club win this league title in such style, a 9 point margin in the Table and an amazing 282 points difference to second place Diss and I would like to thank all the player for making this such a successful season”.
The season has not finished for either of Fakenham’s teams with the second team having two more league games to play, the first on April 2nd, at home to Broadland Gt Yarmouth 2nd’s, Kick off at 3pm. The first have the semi final of Norfolk Plate to prepare for and two local cup games against Holt and Thetford to finish the season off hopefully in style.