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Fakenham RFC unable to round off fine season with a cup win

PUBLISHED: 07:51 11 May 2017

Archant Norfolk © 2007

A memorable season for Fakenham Rugby Club finished on a disappointing note on Saturday as they went down 24-0 to Crusaders in the final of the Norfolk Plate.

Playing a side who compete at a higher level, the Eastern Counties Two North champions turned in a brave perfgormance at the Norfolk Big Rugby Weekend at Holt, and were only 7-0 down at the break, but it was not enough to claim another piece of silverware

After a scrappy start Crusaders opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when, after a good scrum, Rob Loone crossed the whitewash before slotting home the conversion himself.

After an incident which saw four yellow cards the first half was extended by more than 10 minutes put there was no further scoring.

In the second half Fakenham came out of the blocks fast, but Crusaders appeared to have another couple of gears.

It took a Henry Mower trademark blasting run to get the Little Melton side going again, although a head injury to Greg Thurston saw his game end early.

However, in a season filled with injuries Crusaders have proven resilient and this big day was no exception, with Ryan Harris running the show from fly-half as the second half came alive.

Rob Dye crossed over in the 60th minute, as did Alex Widdrington in the 70th, and with both conversions being missed the score with 10 minutes to go was 17-0.

Fakenham then suffered two more introductions to the referee’s notebook and all in all played 30 minutes with 14 men.

Discipline was key to this result, and Crusaders held fast.

Then, late inthe game came a backs move that symbolised Crusaders at their best - team-work and a never say die attitude - as Tim Zielinski completed the scoring.

From 10 metres standing still he is tough to stop and despite Fakenham’s best efforts that proved to be the case with 78 minutes on the clock.

Overall it was a tough afternoon for Fakenham against a good side - but they had done well just to reach the final after beating another Eastern Counties One side, West Norfolk, 28-26 on their own patch in the semi-finals.

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