On a damp Saturday 20th January, Fakenham 1st XV travelled to local rivals Swaffham for their penultimate game of the first half of the season. The pitch was very heavy from the winters weather making running hard and handling loose. This played into the hands of the bigger pack of Swaffham and made it harder for Fakenham's incisive back line.
Fakenham's indiscipline set them back early on when the referee awarded a penalty against them for an infringement around the ruck. The kick was true and within the first couple of minutes Swaffham were leading 3 - 0.
As the half wore on Fakenham showed why they were the top of the Division. The conditions made handling difficult but Fakenham could still move the ball out to their wings who then outflanked the Swaffham defence and make ground up the pitch.
Swaffham were not a push over though as their big runners broke
through the Fakenham line often, needing several Fakenham players to pull them to ground, beside these breakthroughs they were also able to set a few driving mauls that Fakenham will be disappointed with that made the yards they did.
Try scorers in the first half were Lloyd Marshall, Ashley Stewart and Josh Gee with Marshall getting all 3 conversions. Swaffham added a second penalty kick to their tally taking the half time score to 6 - 21.
The second half began where the first left off but the game play from both sides soon deteriorated as the ball became greasier and passes hit the ground rather than a safe pair of hands.
Despite this, Fakenham would add 2 further scores to their tally, a second for Josh Gee and one for Jordii Walker., again both tries converted by Marshall.
Overall Fakenham should be pleased with a 13th bonus point win from the game but they will need to return to their previous level of play when they head into the playoffs in the second half of the season.
The Norfolk Brewhouse Man of the Match was awarded to Luke Taylor.
Next week sees both 1st and 2nd'd at home, the 1st team playing the last of their scheduled league games before the playoff stage against Norwich Medics, kick off at 2:00pm whilst the 2nd team host Holt 3rd's with an 11:30 kick off.