Fakenham travelled to local rivals Holt last Saturday for this London Counties 3 EC league game fully knowing they would be in for a tough game as Holt were in the top three and vying for promotion, along with Wymondham and Ely. Holt had lost to Fakenham in the home fixture and would be out to reverse that result and keep their promotion hopes alive. As the game kicked off Fakenham wanted to lay down a marker and forced Holt back, Josh Gee went on a maizy run from the right wing to the left but was eventually tackled deep in the host’s 22 metre area. The attack came to nothing and fired Holt into action.Fakenham defended well and eventually broke out as phase after phase drove down the pitch. Following a ruck Tom Bane-Young fainted to go but fed captain Jordan Walker who launched himself into a physically much larger player, knocking him to the ground whilst his impetus took him through two other tackles before he fed Gee who finished the move off with an unconverted try 0-5.
Holt fired back into the Fakenham half and were awarded a penalty from which they decided to go for goal, the kick was good and the score 3-5. Holt’s tails were up and they took the game back to Fakenham, forcing the visitors into their own half as they moved the ball swiftly to put their right winger away around the outside to score an unconverted try 8-5.
Fakenham responded immediately and attacked again into the Holt half when Tom B-Y broke the
line, passed to his brother Joe B-Y who drew the defender and returned the pass to Tom who was tackled just short of the line but his arm was just long enough to reach out for the try line with the ball, Lloyd Marshall was accurate with the conversion and the lead changed hands again, 8-12.
Holt increased their pressure and again drove deep into the Fakenham half, launching a telling attack to score an unconverted try to take them into the lead again with the score 13-12 at half time. This was going to be one of those games where neither team would lie down and let the other take control of this tense affair.
The second half saw Holt build up a head of steam and despite some great defending from Fakenham and some strange decisions by the referee for both sides Holt were awarded a kickable penalty which was successful 16-12. Fakenham then suffered at the decisions of the referee with a series of penalties awarded against them allowing Holt to gain territory, Fakenham were reeling from these decisions when Holt struck with a converted try 23-12. Fakenham supporters felt that as in the games against Wymondham and Ely their team was playing well but just falling slightly short of the opposition. All though the game was ebbing forwards and backwards Fakenham still seemed to have confidence and when the ball was passed to Murray Tindall, he shrugged off the initial two tackles and broke into his full pace to outstrip the cover defence and score close to the posts, Lloyd added the two extra points 23-19.
Holt rallied and launched an attack of their own and Fakenham conceded a penalty in a kickable position, Holt took the shot at goal and scored the three point to stretch their lead to 26-19. Fakenham were hurt by this but they chased up the pitch from the kick off when the ball was knocked on by Holt. The resulting scrum gave Fakenham a good platform to launch a telling attack from, a pick and drive from Ashley Stewart and then another pick and go from Rory Singleton supported by Joe B-Y, James Howell and Rob Ward secured good ball to put Murray Tindall away again as he forced his way down the wing to score his second try, 26-24 and put the pressure on Lloyd to score the conversion to level the game, but he kept his nerve and slotted the kick through the posts 26-26.
Fakenham were now buoyant and chased down every loose ball, made each tackle and waited to seize their opportunity. With time rapidly running out, the ball was moved wide to Murray again and to the background of a roaring Fakenham crowd, he rounded the final defender to run in the try under the posts, Lloyd added the conversion, 26-33.