Fakenham unable to build on first half lead as injuries take their toll

North Walsham Raiders on the attack during their win over Norwich Medics on Saturday. Picture: Hywel

North Walsham Raiders on the attack during their win over Norwich Medics on Saturday. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

Fakenham bowed out of the Norfolk Intermediate Cup at West Norfolk, losing 34-33 after being forced to play the entire second period with 14 men because of injuries.

Playing away at a side mid-table in the league above them. the visitors made a flying start when West's opening kick was well gathered and recycled before the backs strung some slick passes together and George Ready scored within the first minute.

West Norfolk started to put some phases and strong runs together but Fakenham's defensive line remained strong and they scored again through Brett Stolworthy.

West Norfolk got themselves on the scoreboard with a converted try five minutes later and were beginning to increase the pressure and vary the attacks on Fakenham's defensive line. However the visitors were strong in defence and added two further scores before half-time. The first was a full team effort, progressively moving the ball further up the pitch until Tom Bane Young dived around the corner to touch down. The second was a great solo effort from Stolworthy who scooped up a loose ball in the Fakenham half and ran in the 75 metres to make it 26-7 at half-time.

In the second half a one-man advantage tipped the balance in favour of West Norfolk. Fakenham were only able to record one more score through Murray Tindall while the home side scored a further five tries. The last of these came from the final play of the game and the subsequent conversion took West Norfolk ahead for the first time.

Despite the loss, Fakenham were pleased with their performance. Missing many of their regular centres and playing the entire second half with 14 they were still only just beaten which suggests that when they are promoted they will be able to compete well in the league above.

In Eastern Counties Three North Fakenham II beat Norwich Medics II 62-12.

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Captain Adam Steele led from the front while Josh Gee was able to use his pace to punch several holes in the Medics' defence, leading to six scores. The other tries came from Callum Frost (2), George Loades and Steele while there were conversions by Loades and Mark Allen.

On Saturday Fakenham host local rivals Swaffham while the seconds have a derby against leaders Dereham.