REACTION: Bury St Edmunds 30 Old Elthamians 36

Bury captain Matt Edison in action

Bury captain Matt Edison in action - Credit: James Ager

Bury St Edmunds skipper Matt Edison encouraged pre-match nerves prior to Bury St Edmunds’ biggest-ever game, but admitted they proved detrimental as the hosts got off to a slow start on Saturday.

In the end, the margin of victory for Old Elthamians was just six points, the visitors winning 36-30, but Bury were not helped by a disastrous opening quarter in which the Kent side scored three unanswered, converted tries.

The hosts managed to stem the flow for the remainder of the first half and battled back manfully in the second, just falling short as the final whistle blew in front of a packed crowd at The Haberden

“It was a bit of a ‘welcome to the league’ in the first half but we had a word after 20 minutes and, again, at half-time. We were much better in the second half,” he said.

“I don’t think it was so much about mistakes but more that we were a bit star-struck, in regards to some of our boys not realising they deserved to be playing in this division.

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“We were nervous and we took about 10 minutes to realise that we are easily good enough to be in this league.”

Their fight-back made for an stunning spectacle for the watching crowd and home-town boy Edison insists such entertainment should see the crowds return for more.

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“After speaking to a few people after the game, I think they enjoyed that (game) more than any from last season,” said the 24-year-old

“This was a real game with seven points in it.

“The game went to the last minute and no one knew what the outcome was. It was exciting, especially for the neutral.

“Hopefully we can get that sort of crowd most weeks. It means the world to us and spurs the team on as we showed in the second half.”

Bury accrued a bonus point from the defeat and Edison said there was plenty of positives to take out of a vibrant second half performance.

He also insists there is nothing to fear for his team in National Three (London & SE) this season.

“The game was in our favour in the second half and I think with another five or ten minutes we would have scored another try,” said the skipper.

“We won the second half, our fitness levels were excellent.

“We executed our game-plan, our skills were clinical and we scored points.

“The forwards stood up and we stopped getting bullied, won our ball and our backs were outstanding. Their running and skills were top level.

“If they (Old Elthamians) represent the type of side in the top three or four this season then we have got nothing to fear.”

The Green & Ambers are away at Barking in National Three next weekend.

For three pages of action, reaction and analysis, plus more from Edison and director of rugby Terry Sands, see today’s East Anglian Daily Times.

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