Fakenham 32 v Woodford 19 - 2019.10.05 London Counties 3 North EC

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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

Thurston v Fakenham 2019.09.28 London Counties 3North EC

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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

Fakenham 27 v Thetford 22 – London Counties 3EC

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On Saturday, Fakenham’s first XV hosted Thetford at the Stringer Ground for this London Counties 3EC clash. 

For the first fifteen minutes, Thetford looked dangerous putting in several good attacks, but Fakenham’s defence held firm, the only concession being a penalty, which went wide of the posts.  

Fakenham’s first opportunity came when a penalty gave them a lineout inside the Thetford 22.  Howard Kellock took the ball cleanly, but Thetford’s forwards were able to turn it over and pass back for the clearance, but Joe Bane-Young read the play well and quickly charged the ball down, resulting in a 5m scrum. 

Fakenham then played through several phases with good pressure from both Howard Kellock and Jordii Walker, but it was Rob Ward who was ultimately able to power through for the score. Tom Bane-Young kicked the conversion, taking the score to 7 - 0 after 25 minutes. 

Fakenham had finally found their stride now and after the restart a break by Howard Kellock supported by Luke Taylor made them some good ground.  Tom Bane-Young kicked the ball long resulting in a lineout on Thetford’s twenty-two metre line.  

Thetford fumbled their lineout and Fakenham seized on the error, passing quick ball out to the right. Rob Ward, again, put in some good work and offloaded to Matthew King whose strength and finishing ability allowed him to shrug off two players and score in the corner.  The kick was tricky and made much harder by the strong gusty wind and Fakenham were unable to add the extra two. 

Thetford’s chance came after the next restart, when a penalty, taken quickly by Fakenham, was knocked on, giving Thetford a scrum.  

They used it for a rapid attack, making ground with fast runners and ball to spin it out wide.  Fakenham put in a valiant

Fakenham 24 - Wisbech 12 - London 3EC

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A sunny September afternoon made it a nice warm start to the season for Fakenham, who welcomed Wisbech to the newly named Stringer Ground for this the first London 3 EC game of the new season. Keen to get off to a good start and continue the momentum from last season, Fakenham were quick to score, with winger Charlie Harding speeding down the wing for a try just six minutes after kick off.  Unfortunately, Tom Bane-Young was unsuccessful with the conversion. 

Despite some good attacking phases from Fakenham, Wisbech were quick to answer, a lost Fakenham lineout on the halfway mark gained them good territory up to the Fakenham 22. Fakenham’s defence held out for several phases but Wisbech were strong in attack and it was ultimately their captain, David Wadsley, who went over for the try.  The conversion was good, taking the score to 5 - 7 after fifteen minutes. 

A penalty to Wisbech shortly after the restart gave them the opportunity to attack again.  Fast-paced play and some excellent breaks looked likely to result in a score, but a try-saving tackle from Damon Howick denied them the chance.  The challenge resulted in a yellow card for Howick, but the Fakenham defence was able to hold out despite being a man down. A lineout steal by flanker James Howell gave Fakenham the chance to clear their lines, but the kick didn’t reach touch and with three men out wide, the Wisbech runners were able to finally make it over for their second try of the match. 

Despite promising attacking periods for both sides, the rest of the first half passed without further score and the teams went in 5 - 12. 

As the second half got underway, Fakenham again put quick points on

Fakenham 27 v Woodbridge 26 - London Counties 3EC

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This game, against Woodbridge, may have just about secured a 5th place finish in this very competitive London 3 EC League. After completing the double over their high-flying local rivals, Holt, last weekend the large crowd were looking forward to this last Fakenham home fixture of the league season.Fakenham started this game like they finished the last one, right on top of their form. With some swift hands and good ball retention, the home side worked their way up to the oppositions 22m and were duly rewarded with a scrum. The scrum was driven forward allowing Luke Taylor to pick up and pass to Lloyd Marshall who then popped the ball flat for Jordan Walker to burst onto which broke the Woodbridge defence and he scored under the posts. The try was converted by Lloyd Marshall. 7minutes into the game and 7 points up, it was looking good.

The game was only flowing one way and hopes were high when Fakenham had a lineout 10 meters short of the away sides line. Rory Singleton threw the ball in short which deceived Woodbridge’s forwards, and Rob Ward powered over unassisted for a fine try. Lloyd Marshall kicked the conversion from out wide to make it 14 in 14 minutes.
Some chinks in the Fakenham armour then appeared as they gave away a string of penalties because the support for the tackled player was too slow. The Fakenham defence, however, was as accurate as it was brutal, especially from Damon Howick and Jordan Walker. Lloyd Marshall slotted 2 penalty kicks between the poste to further extend the lead, but the lead was then reduced when Woodbridge scored a converted try by good work from their number 10. Not to be outdone, Fakenham struck straight back after some good work from Joe Bane-Young who made a half break supported by Rob Ward. Rob’s pass put Jordan Walker into some space which he made good use of, almost making the line. Ashley Stewart then took the ball the rest of the way with some excellent support play. Half Time 27 - 7.
Fakenham started the second half well with some fine pick and go work and were unlucky not to score on a number of occasions. This phase of play lasted for about ten minutes, then the game began to turn.
Woodbridge were looking fitter and were being tenacious in the tackle, turning ball over many times and as the first half belonged to Fakenham so the second half belonged to Woodbridge. After much pressure the away sides number 8 went over for an unconverted try after a dynamic run off a scrum, reducing the Fakenham lead to 27 - 12. The missed conversion was to prove costly for the visitors however.
Two more converted tries by Woodbridge, the final one being the last play of the game, saw them lose by just the one point, 27 - 26. The visitors well deserved a lot of credit for the way they came back, earning them 2 losing bonus points. The win gave Fakenham 4 points but also left them scratching their heads as to what went so drastically wrong in the second half.
Next week sees the final London Counties fixture of the season for the 1st XV with an away game against Ipswich YM, kick off 3:00pm.

Holt 26 - 33 Fakenham – Eastern Counties 3EC

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Fakenham travelled to local rivals Holt last Saturday for this London Counties 3 EC league game fully knowing they would be in for a tough game as Holt were in the top three and vying for promotion, along with Wymondham and Ely. Holt had lost to Fakenham in the home fixture and would be out to reverse that result and keep their promotion hopes alive. As the game kicked off Fakenham wanted to lay down a marker and forced Holt back, Josh Gee went on a maizy run from the right wing to the left but was eventually tackled deep in the host’s 22 metre area. The attack came to nothing and fired Holt into action.Fakenham defended well and eventually broke out as phase after phase drove down the pitch. Following a ruck Tom Bane-Young fainted to go but fed captain Jordan Walker who launched himself into a physically much larger player, knocking him to the ground whilst his impetus took him through two other tackles before he fed Gee who finished the move off with an unconverted try 0-5.

Holt fired back into the Fakenham half and were awarded a penalty from which they decided to go for goal, the kick was good and the score 3-5. Holt’s tails were up and they took the game back to Fakenham, forcing the visitors into their own half as they moved the ball swiftly to put their right winger away around the outside to score an unconverted try 8-5.
Fakenham responded immediately and attacked again into the Holt half when Tom B-Y broke the