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Fakenham 24-19 Wisbech – London Counties 3EC

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After the earlier season meeting with a depleted Fakenham side, the home side were expecting as difficult a game as last time these two sides met, when Wisbech ran out easy winners. Fakenham were hoping that with a much more full strength side, this London 3EC league match would be closer.
The game was very competitive right from the whistle with both sides determined to dominate the game and Wisbech immediately took the upper hand, showing strength and determination in their loose play. Fakenham however dominated the set scrummage and this would be the pattern for most of the game. Wisbech were the first to make a concerted attack and were rewarded with a converted try 0-7. The home side responded a minute later, forcing the visitors back into their own 22 metre area with Damon Howick scoring under the , converted by Lloyd Marshall 7-7. The game had developed into a fierce battle with both sides forcing the pace with defences working hard to break down any attacking movements. Fakenham were steadily pushed back with Wisbech using their back row and other forwards to push into the Fakenham half, the home side unfortunately conceded a penalty allowing the visitors to kick for touch. The resulting 5 metre lineout was a well worked catch and drive and Fakenham just could not stop the Wisbech play and conceded the , also converted 7-14.
Fakenham tried hard to get level again but were

repelled several times before stand-off Tom Bane-Young slipped through to score an unconverted try taking the score at half time to 12-14.
The second half was just as unforgiving as the first with both sides suffering from injuries and needing to use their replacements bench.
Wisbech were the first to break the second half impasse, scoring an unconverted try, 12-19.
Fakenham had to dig deep to get back into the game but with some concerted scrummaging and backs play they forced their way down the field but the Wisbech defence would not lie down. After several scrums resulting in penalties against Wisbech and Fakenham opting to take more scrums, the home side finally worked the ball across the pitch putting Josh Gee over the try line wide out on the left wing, the kick was close but just missed it’s target, 17-19.
The game had just 6 minutes left to play and both sides had periods of pressure and possession but neither could not finish their moves off. With time almost out, a ball from a Fakenham scrum was fed to Tom B-Y who launched at a gap that was closed quickly by Wisbech but not before a quick pass to new skipper Jordan Walker saw him initially caught on the line but a half spin and his momentum left him to ground the ball over the line, Marshall again converted to take the score to 24-19. The final whistle sounded straight after the conversion to bring a huge cheer from the home crowd and players alike. This was an epic battle between two evenly matched sides with neither wanting to backdown from the challenge.
Saturday 16th February will see Fakenham first team at home again with Thurston the visitors in the next round of the league. whilst Fakenham seconds travel to North Walsham 3rd team for a merit table game. There will be a Casino Night at the rugby club that Evening starting a 7pm to raise funds for improvements to facilities. All are welcome and tickets can be booked with Alan 07859 806130.