Fakenham within touching distance of the league crown
- Credit: Archant
Fakenham travelled for an Eastern Counties Division Two North game knowing a win would ensure the league title and a draw leaving an exceptionally small mathematical opportunity for Diss, who had a home walk-over against Dereham.
Walsham pressed forward and scored an unconverted try to take a 5-0 lead. Fakenham struck back within three minutes when inside centre Joe Bane-Young darted though the defence to score close to the post and his brother Tom added the conversion.
Walsham added a second try, the conversion again missed, to make it 10-7.
From the re-start Fakenham trapped the home side in their own 22 but an infringement gave a penalty release for Walsham who carved a path to the posts to score a converted try.
Eventually Fakenham strung six phases together and on the sixth phase a short pass saw Rory Singleton burst over to score and Lloyd Marshall was successful from near the left touch line for 17-14.
The second half saw Fakenham press hard and ultimately Walsham infringed at the breakdown, Marshall took the resulting penalty to level the scores at 17-17.
Fakenham received the kick-off and looked to attack but a lazy pass was intercepted and Walsham were gifted a try, with an easy conversion, to lead 24-17.
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Fakenham rallied and pushed Walsham back into their 22-metre area. Fakenham had dominated the scrums and special mentions must go to the front row of Richard Warren, Nick James and Rory Singleton, ably assisted by the second row of Bob Sayer and captain Adam Lingwood as they put the home scrum under immense pressure on the five-metre line.
Fakenham thought they had scored a try three times but the referee did not have a line of sight to confirm it. But from the fifth scrum, Paul Richardson, the Fakenham scrum-half, burrowed over the line and Marshall added the two extra points to square the game.
Fakenham are five points clear of Diss with a 264 points difference advantage. The last league game is a meeting between the sides on March 25. Fakenham have a break this weekend with the 2nds in Division 3N action at home to UEA at 3pm.