Following 2 home wins, Fakenham’s first away game of the season took them to Thurston for their third London 3EC match.
Blustery conditions and late call offs made it a difficult day for Fakenham.
The first twenty-five minutes provided chances for both sides, but both found that the mix of conditions and staunch defence made attacking difficult.
It was Thurston who finally broke the stalemate.
A quickly taken Thurston penalty with a well-judged cross-field kick, chased by George Cawston, saw Thurston over for the score.
The conversion went wide, 5-0 after 25 minutes.
Fakenham made territory towards the opposition 22, gaining a penalty when the home side were offside. Tom Bane-Young missed the
kick, the wind taking it wide of the posts.
Thurston’s 22m dropout went deep and some impressive speed from Thurston’s Ed Ballam provided pressure on the Fakenham backs resulting in the ball being fumbled and allowing Ballam to chip through and score the try. Thurston’s Jack Rae converted, putting them12 points ahead at the half hour mark.
Fakenham then held a scrum well but Thurston spun the ball out to Ballam who once again made an impressive break to score his second try. Jack Rae converted to take the score to 19–0 at half time.
Fakenham came out for the second half determined to impose their game plan and were persistent in attack, playing through their forwards and multiple phases rather than relying on the backs.
Thurston’s defence was still impregnable after twenty minutes of attack but the home sides lack of discipline showed, and five successive penalties within five minutes saw the inevitable yellow card.
Penalized again Thurston gave Fakenham a lineout deep in their own territory.
A well-taken lineout and good passing saw Murray Tindall finally find the chink in Thurston’s defence as he darted through for the try. Tom Bane-Young converted, 19-7 with ten minutes of play left.
An excellent Bane-Young kick following the restart, put Fakenham back into a good attacking position 5m from Thurston’s line, unfortunately they conceded the scrum and Thurston could not clear cleanly, and another 5m scrum to Fakenham followed.
More-discipline from Thurston led to another yellow card and Fakenham capitalized, Rob Ward powering over for the points. The conversion was wide, but the Ref gave Fakenham a penalty restart; another Fakenham opportunity in the final few minutes of play.
Yet another penalty to Fakenham gave them a lineout on Thurston’s 5m line for the final play of the game but Thurston intercepted and cleared the ball for the final whistle.
Final score was 19-12 to Thurston.
Overall, a good team effort by Fakenham despite difficult conditions. Next week, they return home to play Woodbridge (KO 3pm).