After a week off from league action Fakenham welcomed top of the table Wymondham in this pulsating London 3 Eastern Counties League game. A lively start from the home side saw them dominate the first ten minutes with Wymondham unable to get out of their own 22. Tom Bane-Young burst through Wymondham’s defence and Jordan Walker was unlucky not to take the pass which would have seen him score. A short while later Murray Tindal nearly made the line but was pulled down just before. It was then Lloyd Marshall’s turn to come close with some lovely interplay between him and Rory Singleton. Fakenham did manage to cross the whitewash after a scrum when scrum half Luke Taylor when blind, a quick ruck and the ball was spun out to Tom Bane-Young who crashed through the defence to score under the posts. Lloyd Marshal converted to make the score 7-0 to the home side.
If the first ten minutes belonged to Fakenham then the second ten minutes belonged to Wymondham who scored a good try from a driving lineout. The conversion bounced off the post to leave Fakenham in the lead, 7-5.
Both sides must have been a little disappointed with their ball retention as many turnovers were occurring which made for an open and exciting game for the large crowd. Wymondham finally went ahead for the first time after 35 minutes of play with a well worked try that was converted from the touchline. The lead did not last long as
Fakenham nicked a lineout on the halfway line and this was followed by 14 phases of play resulting in Luke Taylor selling a dummy to cross over the line. Converted by Lloyd Marshall this put Fakenham 14-12 up at halftime.
At the restart Fakenham were caught napping and conceded a soft try, converted try to put Wymondham in front again, 14-19. Shortly after this Fakenham let in another soft try when a charged down kick saw Wymondham extend their lead to 14-26.
A great break by Jordan Walker almost closed the gap but was smothered by the desperate defence of the visitors. Wymondham then attacked again but could not break down the Fakenham defence line with some heavy tackles put in by Joe Bane-Young and Josh Gee. Finally Fakenham turned the ball over after some brave work by Howard Kellock and attacked from the deep, driving well into the Wymondham’s 22. The forwards, especially through the efforts of Rob Ward, Richard Warren and Matthew King, decided to keep it tight and use the pick and go to soften up the Wymondham defence, resulting in Jordan Walker powering over for a converted try. At 21-26 an upset looked possibly on the cards with Fakenham looking dangerous with ball in hand, however, this was not to be as Wymondham sealed the game late on with a move from an attacking scrummage to leave the result 21-31.
Fakenham can feel a little aggrieved by not getting anything from this game despite looking so dangerous in open play. A losing bonus point was the least they deserved for their efforts. The difference between the two sides was in first phase ball. Wymondham took their lineouts cleanly and scrummaged strongly going forward. Tim Passmore, the referee, said it was an enthralling and close game that was a pleasure to referee.
Fakenham can now look forward to two away games, at Ely and Holt, both games with a 3:00 kick off , before their last home game of the season against Woodbridge on the 30th March.