Following Fakenham’s 2nd’s being excluded from Eastern Counties League 3N (along with Wymondham 3rd’s, North Walsham 3rd’s and Broadland Gt Yarmouth 2nd’s, all for apparently not fulfilling sufficient fixtures), Fakenham had something to prove in this Norfolk Cup game against long-time rival Holt 3.
The game started with real pace right from the whistle and soon saw Fakenham’s Damon Howick make a clean break. He dummied past two defenders and crashed over to score with three players hanging on his back, unfortunately the try was not converted.
Fakenham continued to show good ball movement especially from Josh Sperring and Rory Singleton which kept the pressure on the Holt side with play well in their half. Twice Fakenham crossed the line, only to be pulled back for earlier infringements.
With the exception of one fantastic break by the Holt No 8, the visitors took twenty minutes to worry the Fakenham half of the pitch. Strong tackling repulsed the Holt attacks on the occasions they got into
the home sides half.
Scrums were beginning to go Fakenham’s way with good work from Eladio Ribeiro and Ashley Steward and from one of these scrums the ball was whisked out to Jack Whiteside. who, coming from full back, ran a mazy 50 meters to score.
From the resulting kick off Holt worked their way down to the Fakenham five-meter line where they tried to maul over from a lineout but some powerful play by Toby Kent and Paul Ruston drove them into touch. However, Holt were not to be denied as a better organised maul produced a converted try for them one minute later.
The last ten minutes of the first half saw the game totally taken away from Holt with three unanswered tries by the now rampant Fakenham side. Lyam Thorpe scored his first of four tries after good work from Brandon Fairbrother.
Damon Howick went over for his second following some flowing rugby that involved the ever-present Colm Hunt. To seal the half, a chip ahead and score by Lyam Thorpe saw the whistle blow with the score 25 – 7 and it could have been a lot more as all of the conversions were missed.
The first fifteen minutes of the second half saw an even and entertaining period with the Holt defence eventually broken by another try for Lyam Thorpe.
In response Holt fought back through their forwards who were finally successful and awarded a converted try.
Paul Ruston then stole a Holt lineout; the ball was moved swiftly to Ashley Steward who made a fine break only to be hauled down just short of the line but he popped the ball up for Lyam Thorpe who scored his fourth try of the afternoon.
Holt then struck back to score another well worked try of their own but the final score of the game came from Fakenham’s hardworking Josh Gee who plucked up a loose ball and scorched the ground past four defenders to score, final Result 42 - 19 to the home side.
The referee said after the match that “this was the most entertaining game I have been involved in this season and the players attitudes were exemplary”. Fakenham skipper, Toby Kent, said “I could not have asked for any more effort than the players gave today, I could not be prouder”.
Fakenham 2’s had proved their point with this win, the next problem will be finding fixtures to replace the ones cancelled by Eastern Counties in order to keep the team match fit for the rest of the season.
Next week Fakenham 1st team play Holt at Fakenham in the Eastern Counties League.