Fakenham hosted the Banham cup last weekend; once an annual fixture, it has not been played for 5 years but both Fakenham and Hilt have worked on their fixture lists to reinstate the fixture this season and going forward. The pre-match lunch, sponsored by Banham seed merchants, was well attended with nearly 80 people sitting down to an excellent meal. With the fine weather at the weekend a good-sized crowd of 3-400 turned out to see this local derby game.
Fakenham were to take the early plaudits scoring first when centre Ian Williamson forced his
way over the try line after a series of good handling moves and some quick rucking by the forwards, the conversion was added by Tom Bane-Young 7-0. Holt looked shocked that their hosts had taken an early lead in the game and fired themselves into action. Holt produced a series of forward drives and swift backs moves that probed the Fakenham defence, forcing a infringement by the home side and gifting a kickable penalty to Holt, Ben Harvey took the kick and secured the 3 points 7-3. Fakenham’s attacks were causing problems for Holt and they in turn infringed at a breakdown giving Fakenham a penalty opportunity and Tom B-Y kicked the points to take the score to 10-3. Both teams produced some super attacking rugby and blistering defence play but Holt gradually edged the next phase of the game, scoring an unconverted try 10-8 and then a converted try to take the score to 10-15 and it remained at this score until the half time whistle.
The second half saw Fakenham on the attack again and number 8 Howard Kellock finished off the move with a try wide out on the left wing but the kick for the extra points missed its’ target taking the score to 15-15. Holt again raised their game and forced Fakenham back into their own half and with some excellent running scored an unconverted try 15-20. The seesaw game was to turn again when Fakenham pressed forward with the home pack meeting the visitors head to head, after 5 phases a swift pass to Rory Singleton saw him dive over to score in the left corner of the pitch but the try was unconverted 20-20. Holt struck back with a penalty and followed this up with an unconverted try to move the score to 20-28. Fakenham responded with a penalty kick to close the gap to 5 points and the score at 23-28. Holt looked the more assured team at this stage of the game, their experience of higher league rugby starting to show they and they finished the game off in style with an unconverted try to move the final score to 23-33. The spectators from both clubs had seen an exceedingly competitive game with both sides playing expansive rugby with some excellent phases of play; coaches from both teams had real positives to take away with them. Talking to some of the many spectators after the game, everyone had enjoyed it immensely and the Holt fans had a new found respect for Fakenham who took the 3 Division difference in standard in their stride and hopefully learned some lessons to take to EC1 next season.
Saturday will see Fakenham at home for the annual Hogston Crowley Cup game against Thetford, start at 3:00 pm – this is also a difference in level game as Thetford have just won promotion from EC1 (Fakenham won EC2) but generally produces some fast exciting Rugby, all spectators welcome.