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Match Report

Fakenham 2's 24 Norwich 31


Fakenham 2's 24 Norwich 31

Norwich 3s charge to victory in heroic form as the season nears its end.

The A’s travelled to Fakenham for the return fixture against famously fierce opponents and with just five league games remaining the AXV felt every bit of the significance of the occasion.

From the start it was clear there was a battle to be had as Fakenham used strong individual runners to carve chunks out of the visiting defence. For the most part it was matched but after ten tough minutes the Fakenham fly half used his considerable strength to break tackles and find space ahead of him. Scoring first, Fakenham then converted. 7-0.

Immediately under pressure Norwich bit back and some strong muscle work by their ever reliable forwards meant Fakenham had to scramble to escape their own backyard. A Fakenham player in something of a hurry ran at the Norwich ten who exploited the carriers’ poor grip and ripped the ball. With a gap in front of him the visiting fly half ran a few metres, exercised some half-effective footwork and was gathered up just a couple of metres shy of the try line. A mighty roar announced the arrival of supporting runner J.Hynd to whom the ball was deftly offloaded and subsequently pressed down over the line. A convenient place from which to kick, the score was converted. 7-7.

After a flurry of even exchanges Fakenham made a second fatal break, almost a carbon copy of their first. Their fly half causing trouble to the AXV defenders before scoring few feet wide of the posts. Well converted, 14-7.
Again with no let-up in play and chances coming by the dozen, Norwich found their way over once more. This try marking the prolific return of veteran Matt O’Brien who showed his gas, footwork and ability to dummy pass before diving over in the corner. Unfortunately despite the magical display from the scorer the kicker couldn’t quite match the standard. 14-12.

With only eight minutes until half time the tense nature of the match began to seep into various aspects of play, discipline being the main victim of the tough atmosphere. After a fracas off the back of a breakdown it was deemed necessary for Norwich hooker S.Vavasour to see ten minutes in the bin. He left the pitch and promptly found the nearest reflective surface into which he could take a long, hard look at himself. Despite the man deficit Norwich held firm for the remainder of the half.

Ten minutes after the restart and discipline had got no better. More afters and further handbags resulted in two red cards being presented, sadly for Norwich, both of which went to their own players. When play began again Fakenham threw the ball out wide and exploited the new overlap to score with relative ease. Nicely converted, 21-12.

Utterly up against it, two men and nine points down, with thirty minutes of play left to go. Norwich knew they needed to produce something special, else they were looking at dashed hopes in terms of league victory.
An increase in energy saw the Norwich backs pull off a series of successful offloads and clever link up play which resulted in a pristine, no-look pass which landed smartly in the hands off previous scorer M.O’Brien who saw himself over, this time in the opposite corner. Sadly unconverted, but certainly a great start in the necessary resurgence. 21-17.

Many phases later Fakenham found they were having trouble breaking through defenders, despite the two-man advantage, so off the back of yet more visiting indiscipline the hosts decided to kick a penalty and further increased the gap. 24-17.

Completely defiant in the face of adversity the AXV led a string of frenzied, yet clinical attacking phases to work their way up the pitch in their usual style. Just two metres out Fakenham were a little overzealous in their attempts to defend and conceded a penalty. Norwich opted for a tap and go, which fell to A.Ogle, who audaciously indicated the exact spot he would score, just moments before doing so. The kicker rising to the occasion, well converted. 24-24.

After the restart Norwich refused to give an inch and fought their way back to within five metres of the host’s try line. With a strong maul from the visiting pack causing issues time and time again, the Fakenham players were found busying themselves against the weight of the Norwich pack. The ball found its way to fly half MCW with space in front but scramble defence managed to get across and hassle the ball carrier, who had space in front to go himself and O’Brien out wide running in support for his hattrick. The ball carrier chose neither and instead stumbled and fell short of the line. The ensuing mess saw Norwich win a penalty and a few quick drives finally saw J.Hynd cross for his second of the match. Again the kicker feeling the momentous nature of the event, slotted the conversion. 24-31.

With three minutes left of the match Norwich kept their composure to keep hold of possession and see out the game.

Excellent work from the entirety of the AXV, whilst the scores were well executed and brilliantly worked, the true heroics from the visiting side came from their defence. At a huge disadvantage for the best part of the last half the AXV rallied and exemplary defending from each player served to keep the home side out.

MOM – Chris Furby for an unbelievable showcase in defence and some tempestuous attacking to help affect a majestic comeback.

DOD – A strong contender being MCW for “Not looking when he passes” and “being greedy”… But ultimately it was jointly awarded to the McConnell brothers… for the obvious…

Report, MCW.

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