Fakenham were forced to make five changes for this trip to Diss on Saturday. Diss were definitely up for the game and looked more intense and committed than Fakenham even in the warm up, everything they did looked crisper and with more purpose. The game started with some uncharacteristic poor tackling by Fakenham (which unfortunately persisted throughout the game) allowing Diss to dictate and force Fakenham back towards their own line with some quick breaks, only last ditch cover tackles kept the score at 0-0. The pressure kept building until Diss scored with an unconverted try. Two minutes later Diss were back again, this time scoring a converted try (12–0). Fakenham looked at sixes and sevens but managed to scramble in defence and launch some promising attacks unfortunately without enough support to score but did manage to force two penalty opportunities but both were missed. Fakenham managed to get to half time with score at 12-0.
A stern talking to at half time from stand in captain, Bob Sayer and some positional changes and one personnel change saw Fakenham chase the game. Unfortunately trying to force the issue caused some mistakes inside Fakenham's own 22 allowing Diss to score another converted try. Fakenham then had a concerted effort which saw them move deep into Diss territory finishing with Mark Allen slipping through a gap from about 8 meters out for a converted try (19-7). Mark Allen then had two or three other major runs in the game that should have resulted in another score from Fakenham but delayed passes meant the chances went begging. Diss then took full advantage of some indifferent defending to score another unconverted try (24-7). Another Diss attack resulted in a drop goal by the stand-off to add another 3 points to the score (27-7). The final score in the game came after the Diss second row kicked over the Fakenham defence for the stand-off to nip in and score the last try, which was unconverted. The final game score was Diss 32 Fakenham 7.
Fakenham will be training at home this Tuesday night at 7 pm, new players are always welcome as we are looking for a few new players to join the teams to develop into quality players for next seasons campaign. Next weekend sees Fakenham with two home games as the first team prepare for the visit of North Walsham II and the seconds the visit of Wymondham 3rd, both games will kick off at 2:15pm.
The recent wet weather took its toll on the match even before it started, the heavy going nature of the pitch suggesting that this was going to be a battle of the packs, and so it turned out. A vigorous forward battle in the first half, played in the main between both teams 22metre lines, yielded missed penalty opportunities for both sides. As the half progressed Fakenham's forwards, with Sayer and Kellock outstanding, began to exert authority, driving Wisbech off the ball, and winning the line outs. In the last minute of the half, with no scores on the board, a scrum was awarded on the Wisbech five yard line, and the Fakenham pack duly obliged, driving Wisbech over their line for Kellock to score from the combined effort. Tom Bane-Young converted a difficult kick as the first half ended.
Bane-Young began the second half equally efficiently, converting yet
Fakenham and Holt battled each other and the changeable weather conditions for the whole game, trying to play their rugby in wind, rain, sleet and snow and sometimes, even, bright sunshine.
For the first 20 minutes both teams spent time in each other's territory without scoring but Holt then had 3 minutes of concerted pressure deep in the Fakenham 22 metre area. Fakenham defended well but Holt had good forward momentum and forced the Home side back towards their own try line. A series of 5 metre scrums and rucks saw Holt force their way over the line for a converted try. Fakenham, playing against the prevailing near gale at times in the first half, found it difficult to clear their lines. Holt recovered one of these failed clearances to launch an attack down the left hand side of the pitch to score another try. The excellent conversion from wide out near the touchline was good to give Holt a 14 point lead. Fakenham were making progress into Holt's territory on numerous occasions without scoring points partially due to vigorous defence by Holt. Fakenham did engineer a scoring opportunity when Tom Bane-Young broke though the Holt back line and bumped off the full back to score under the posts (to make his own conversion easier), the half time score ended 7-14 in Holts favour.
The second half saw Fakenham with the wind at their backs and playing with more vigour, penetrating deep into Holt territory. Although Fakenham had the majority of the possession and territory Holt's defence was steadfast. Fakenham were awarded a number of penalties and decided to go for scrums or kicks to touch to build a platform from which to launch an attack and try to score tries but small mistakes or Holt's determination to keep Fakenham out meant the Fakenham players did not cross the line to score. Fakenham have improved over the last few weeks of training but need to improve their game management. The final score was 7-14 to Holt.
Fakenham first team will be back in Merit table action against Wisbech on Saturday, Kick off will be 2pm or 2:30 to be confirmed, the second team will have a fixture but the opposition is also to be confirmed. Spectators are welcome at both these games and also on Sunday the Foxes ladies team will play with a pre-match lunch and there are still some seats available.
Fakenham travelled to Wymondham with a strong and determined squad out to avenge the previous weeks last minute defeat by Norwich II. The squad had a good training session on the Tuesday and ironed out some of the defensive frailties they had shown against Norwich.
Fakenham had a bright start and forced the play into the Wymondham 22 metres area where having set a ruck,