Last weekend Fakenham travelled to Thurston knowing that they had to improve on the previous week’s performance if they were to get any positive result from their second game on the road in the current run of 4
Things started well for Fakenham when they received the opening kick-off, the resulting phases and an excellent run put Murray Tindall through the centre of the home sides defence to score under the posts with only 1 minute on the clock, Lloyd Marshall converted giving the visitors a 0-7 lead.
This early score stunned both the Thurston crowd and players but Fakenham were wrong to think the rest of the game would go all their way as Thurston lifted their game and drove Fakenham deep into their own 22 to score a try of their own but it was unconverted leaving the score 5-7.
The game flowed back and forth with each team having periods of control, but it was Fakenham who scored next with an unconverted try from Ashley Stewart to stretch the lead for the visitors 5-12.
Thurston raised their game once again and attacking forcefully scored an unconverted try to close the gap and make the visitor’s rethink their approach 10-12.
Soon after Fakenham were awarded a penalty and with the wind in a favourable
direction they opted for the kick and Lloyd Marshall converted to extend the score to 10-15. Thurston’s reply once again took the attack forward edging steadily down the field and causing Fakenham to make some defensive errors out wide which allowed the home sides right wing to exploit a gap and outpace the chasing defence to score in the right corner, leaving a difficult kick which was unconverted, 15-15.
This half of rugby was not finished yet as, with Fakenham once again in the ascendency, it gave hooker Rory Singleton his try soring moment, converted by Lloyd Marshall and giving the visitors a 15-22 lead into half time. At least the whistle gave the crowd a chance to catch their breath and the players to have a well-earned break.
From the restart Fakenham had periods of fine attacking rugby but were repelled by the home defence, failing to convert three opportunities with lineouts deep in the opponents 22 metre meant that when the next penalty was awarded Fakenham opted to take the kick instead and Lloyd Marshall converted from close range 15-25.
As had happened throughout the game, this only seemed to spur Thurston on to further attack, but Fakenham managed to get a turn over and put a few phases together before they engineered a one on one for Murray Tindall to beat the first man and run a full 60 meters to just outpace the chasing defence and score under the posts, once again converted by Lloyd Marshall, 15-32, this gave Fakenham their biggest lead in the game.
The Thurston fans were treated to a grandstand finish (and the Fakenham fans slight palpitations) as their side scored two converted tries in the last 10 minutes to take the score to 29-32 and they were attacking in the Fakenham 22meter area when the ball was spilled forward.
Fakenham very quickly recovered the ball and Lloyd Marshall squeezed it into touch and the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of a somewhat frenetic match.
The game was a great spectacle of attacking rugby but both sides showed some defensive frailties that they need to work on if they want to improve their standing in the league.
This win lifts Fakenham to fifth in London 3 Eastern Counties and top of the packed mid table with only 2 points between 5th and 8th .
Saturday 3rd November will see Fakenham first team travel once again to second place Wymondham for their third game in a row on the road. Fakenham seconds also travel to Wymondham 3rd team for an EC3 North fixture, both games will be played at Wymondham RUFC’s new ground off the old A11