After last week’s narrow loss, Fakenham were back to their winning ways, but it was difficult.
From the outset, Woodbridge made the better start, from a Fakenham knock on and conceded scrum, the visitors dominated and drove hard for Fakenham’s line. Fakenham were in complete disarray and after 4/5 phases Woodbridge scored a well-deserved converted try taking the lead, 0-7.
Woodbridge pressed again from the restart, but Fakenham’s scramble defence became organised repelling the attack and putting together some phases themselves.
It took about 10 minutes for the home side to give the crowd something to cheer, pushing deep into Woodbridge territory and launching a series of probing attacks Howard Kellock scored a try for Fakenham, Lloyd Marshall added the conversion to level the scores at 7-7. .
A hard passage of play ensued with both teams launching regular attacks only to be turned over or knock the ball on. During one of Fakenham’s attacks, Woodbridge infringed at a ruck and Marshall kicked the penalty, increasing the lead to 10-7.
Fakenham finally took control of the game, engineering an overlap to get Josh Gee away wide on the right wing, his pace taking him past the broken defence to score an unconverted try, 15-7. After a few further plays, the whistle went for half time.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first with Woodbridge taking the game to the hosts and
scoring another converted try taking the score to 15-14. The home crowd was getting tense as Woodbridge had been competing well through all phases and looked dangerous.
Some cracks had appeared though, the penalty count for both teams was a little high but Woodbridge’s discipline appeared to slip. Fakenham just had to keep their cool and respond; the forwards provided a stable platform for the backs to launch an excellent attack, Fakenham captain Jordan Walker finishing it by scoring a converted try, 22-14. The game was tense with both teams able to launch breakthrough attacks, but it was Fakenham who were next to score from a penalty, Marshall slotting the ball through the posts
More tight play followed, but Fakenham cleared their lines giving them a lineout in Woodbridge territory. The forwards set up a driving maul from the lineout and after further rucks and mauls Howard Kellock again forced his way over in the left corner to score and claim the bonus point. Marshall, left with a difficult kick, had his kicking boots on and scored the conversion, 32-14.
Woodbridge were to have the final say in the game and scored an unconverted try on the stroke of full time taking the final score to 32-19.
Fakenham got the bonus point win they wanted but Woodbridge possibly deserved more from the game than the score suggested.
Fakenham will have to improve, slow starts against the leading packs in the league will make getting back on terms very difficult.
Next Saturday Fakenham launch their Norfolk Cup campaign against fellow London 3 North EC side, Beccles. Kick off will be earlier at 2:30pm to allow for extra time. Look forward to seeing as many spectators at the game as possible to support Fakenham’s cup campaign.