Fakenham fade after fine start but cling on for 27-26 victory
PUBLISHED: 08:41 04 April 2019
Mike Wyatt ABIPP
Fakenham edged past Woodbridge 27-26 to stay in the hunt for a fifth place finish in the very competitive London 3EC League.
After completing the double over high-flying local rivals Holt, the large crowd were looking forward to the last home fixture of the league season.
Fakenham started this game like they finished the last one, right on top of their form, and went in front when a 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 score under the posts. The try was converted by Marshall.
The game was only flowing one way and after being awarded a lineout 10 metres from the line Rory Singleton threw the ball in short and Rob Ward powered over unassisted for a fine try. Marshall kicked the conversion from out wide to make it 14 points in 14 minutes.
Some chinks in the Fakenham armour then appeared as they gave away a string of penalties but the defence was rock solid, with Damon Howick and Jordan Walker leading the way. Marshall slotted two penalty kicks to further extend the lead but it was then reduced when Woodbridge scored a converted try.
Not to be outdone, Fakenham struck straight back as Joe Bane-Young made a half break supported by Rob Ward, whose 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 and at half-time the score was 27-7.
Fakenham started the second half well with some fine pick and go work but 10 minutes in the game began to turn.
Woodbridge were looking fitter and were being tenacious in the tackle and after much pressure the away No 8 went over for a try after a dynamic run off a scrum, with the missed conversion proving to be costly for the visitors.
Two more converted tries, the final one being from the last play of the game, saw them lose by just the one point. The win gave Fakenham four points but also left them scratching their heads as to what went wrong in the second half.
Saturday sees the final league game for the firsts with a trip to Ipswich YM (3pm).