Joy for Fakenham Rugby Club as title is secured
PUBLISHED: 09:32 11 January 2018
Mike Wyatt ABIPP
Fakenham secured the Eastern Counties One North title with three games to spare by seeing off visitors Beccles in emphatic fashion to make it 11 straight wins.
The first half was competitive and Beccles missed an early chance to take the lead from a kickable penalty.
Fakenham, playing for the first time since late November, then showed the sort of varied play that has taken them to the top.
The first score was the result of strong composed forward play making hard yards in the final third, with Ashley Stewart touching down. The second came from another forward, Adam Lingwood, who took a quick tap penalty and after some interlinked passing with the backs got the ball back to touch down.
The next two scores were a display of how strong the Fakenham centres are. Joe Bane-Young crossed first, running directly at the Beccles inside centre and No 8 and pushing them both off to cross the line. Shortly after he was substituted for Jordi Walker who, with a couple of strong hand-offs, ran in the fourth try from 30 metres out. This sealed the bonus point for Fakenham before the first half was out at 24-0.
One area that has at times been lacking in Fakenham’s arsenal has been their lineouts. On Saturday however they performed excellently and provided good clean ball for the backs to run on to. They will be disappointed about a driven maul that they took up to the line but were unable to convert to points but overall will be pleased with the improvement shown.
The second half continued with Fakenham being dominant although the play became somewhat scrappier, not helped by two yellow cards for Fakenham and one for Beccles. Fakenham did not have it all their own way though and Beccles had an extended period of attacking the home line but the home defence held strong, with no missed tackles.
The hosts ran in a further six tries from Callum Frost, Tom Bane-Young, Luke Taylor, Lloyd Marshall and two more from Walker along with five conversions from Marshall.
Fakenham will now be looking to maintain their winning streak ahead of the new challenges posed by games against the top teams from the West and South divisions. On Saturday they travel to Diss Saracens.