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Bury St Edmunds 4 v Aldeburgh - 29th October

Bury St Edmunds 0 Aldeburgh 44

A splendid afternoon for Aldeburgh

Sunny day, good pitch, full squad, new players, old hands returning, evidence that at least some had been to training, Aldeburgh totally dominant throughout, eight tries and a clean sheet.

Although Paddy Allen, head coach, was concerned in the first few minutes that the Aldeburgh team looked lethargic, he did not need to worry. Bury hardly got out of their own half at any point in the match. The Aldeburgh scrum was on top from the start, pushing Bury back every time. Lewis Wardell Bird, who had a fine first season with Aldeburgh in the back row last year, moved forward to prop where he had a big impact on the solidity of Aldeburgh’s pack. He still managed to make his presence felt in open play.

Aldeburgh also dominated the line outs with new flanker, Toby Mann, as the main line out jumper, collecting accurate throws from hooker, Jon Taylor, and feeding straight from the top to new scum half, Phil Curran. Quick, clean ball from line outs has been missing from Aldeburgh’s game for a while.

Despite Aldeburgh’s pressure, Bury defended stoutly all afternoon. It took 15 minutes to break down their defence. From an attacking line out, prop James Ledger, who had already made some of his powerful runs, burst through and over the line. Ed Robson converted from wide.

There was strong running from the forwards. In addition to James, Club Chairman, Lee Barber playing second row, had the satisfaction of bouncing a Bury forward backwards. The other tight forwards were also making themselves felt, both in runs into contact and linking up passing moves with the backs. It was good to see the confidence develop during the game that they could make progress by moving the ball.

About 20 minutes into the half, the Aldeburgh backs began to assert themselves. The ball was moved quickly to outside centre Jake Taylor (playing in the same team as his Dad) who sold a superb dummy to break the line and score.

After yet more pressure, No 8, Jon Hunt, last season’s top try scorer, got this season’s account off the mark with a pick up and go from the base of the scrum using his power to force his way over.

At the 35 minute mark, fly half, Ed Robson, took matters into his own hands. Receiving the ball from a scrum on the Bury 22 he weaved through the opposition without them laying a finger on him for a superb try.

Half time saw Aldeburgh leading comfortably 22-0 with a sense that the lead could be stretched considerably in the second half.

Nevertheless, Bury continued to tackle hard, defending with spirit. Aldeburgh started to win penalties, taking them quickly and driving forward, Jon Hunt leading the way. Another dominant scrum in the Bury 22 gave scrum half, Phil Curran, the opportunity to escape the cover and dot down.

Bury’s deep kick off was taken well by Adam Hateley, having another fine game on the wing, who made good ground, passed to Ed Robson, whose kick was chased by Barnaby Knight on the other wing. He tackled the receiver, the forwards powered in and won the turn over, the ball was moved quickly through several hands to Jon Hunt who broke two tackles to score. A thrilling piece of play.

Having said that, the try of the match was still to come. After winning a scrum against the head, the ball came out to Danny Collett at inside centre who popped up a perfect pass to fellow centre Jake Taylor, taking a superb line to scythe through the Bury defence. Danny said afterwards that they had seen the possibility in the first half and had been waiting for the opportunity to spring the move.

The final try came, like the first, from one of James Ledger’s signature storming runs. This time he had the presence of mind to take a quick tap penalty and there was no stopping him.

After 30 minutes of the second half, Ed Robson was forced off with an injured foot. Perhaps Aldeburgh were tiring a little too as Bury began to gain ground. It was good to see the determination to keep a clean sheet, exemplified by Rupert Clogg at full back chasing back to gather the ball just short of the Aldeburgh line, take the contact and hold the ball up long enough for the forwards to get back in support.

There was also a determination to keep attacking. The final move of the match included a strong run from hooker Jon Taylor whose pass Danny Collett juggled over the line and lost. The final whistle saw him beating the ground in frustration.

The players clearly enjoyed the match, not just because it was a crushing victory but because they were playing good rugby and everyone was getting involved. There will be tougher opposition this season but with performances like this Aldeburgh can make a strong showing in the league.


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