Eastern Counties Under 13 Rugby Festival - Sunday 3rd March 2019, Stowmarket RUFC and Wymondham RFC
By Laura Hudson
Bury consolidated their position as one of the strongest under 13 rugby teams in East Anglia with some excellent performances at the final Eastern Counties festival.
Drew 0-0 v. Newmarket
Won 2-0 v. Ely
Lost 0-4 v. Stowmarket
Won 3-1 v. Beccles
Drew 1-1 v. Cambridge
Won 6-0 v. Holt
Lost 0-1 v. Wymondham
Won 4-2 v. Ipswich
After the squad’s success in the first two rounds of the Eastern Counties waterfall festival in November and January it was onto the final stage on a wet and windy day at the start of March. Bury were represented at both Stowmarket RUFC and Wymondham RFC and performed well all day to consolidate their position as one of the strongest squads in East Anglia.
At Stowmarket, the team recorded two wins, one draw and one defeat from their four matches, with a try record of scoring five and conceding five. The opening game against Newmarket could and perhaps should have been won if chances had been taken, but ended in a 0-0 draw. In the second game Bury earned a good 2-0 victory against Ely with tries from speedster Kai Tan and Finn O’Donnell getting just rewards for an excellent day’s play.
In their third match, Bury slipped to a 4-0 defeat against Stowmarket, although the result was closer than the score line suggested. Encouragingly the boys responded really well to win their final match 3-1 against Beccles, with tries from Ben Nevison-Grainger, Kai Tan and Thomas Cornwall, capping what was a really good performance from him.
Overall there were a lot of positives to be taken from the four matches – especially pleasing was the way in which the team responded to defeat or mistakes and improved in the following game. Ensuring ball retention and rucking play needs some improvement, but the boys can be very proud of their skill and effort on the day. Particular mention should go to Freddie Dean who is now back to his best after recovering from knee surgery last season; great to see him playing so well again!
Up at Wymondham, the same set of results were also recorded, although with a try record of scoring eleven and conceding four. The first game against Cambridge was a quiet encounter, with Bury seemingly not fully switched on or possibly even suffering from finals day nerves. A typically strong try from Nico Marchini meant Bury led for most of the match, before Cambridge came back to finish one try a piece.
In the second match versus Holt Nico Marchini continued his superb try-scoring record this season with a well-taken hat trick of excellent finishes. Todd Hutchinson, Vincent La Starza and Ethan Swan also scored as Bury ran out 6-0 winners. The third match against the home side Wymondham was a very tight affair between two excellent teams. The fresh legs of Wymondham and a number of Bury injuries to key personnel contributed to a 1-0 win for the home team, but take nothing away from the victors who finished the day with an impressive 100% record. Bury would welcome the opportunity to test themselves against this quality side once again this season should fixtures allow.
Bury bounced back well from this disappointment to win their final game 4-2 against Ipswich. Team try of the day was saved for this match when Vincent La Starza made a typically strong run deep into the Ipswich half, offloaded to an onrushing Jack Griggs, who popped up to the unstoppable Will Hudson-White to finish off a fine move. Will Hudson-White finished with a brace of tries and Jack Griggs and Angus Hudson both capped fine performances with well taken scores. On a day made for forwards, Charlie Chapman defied the wet weather to show off his full range of silky passing; continuing the fine form he has shown this season (and continuing to show Chapman senior how to play the beautiful game).
Bury can be very proud of their efforts in this year’s festival, there is a lot of competition for places and all of the boys performed with the right spirit, huge enthusiasm and no little skill. Many thanks to Stowmarket RUFC and Wymondham RFC for hosting the excellent events, and once again to the supportive parents to give up their time to stand around in the wet and windy conditions! Many congratulations to all of the lads – there are lots of reasons to look forward to the rest of the season.