EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
DIVISION TWO NORTH
Bury St Edmunds 1st XV 0
BURY opened their season with a narrow loss to Dereham, both teams having been relegated last season.
The Suffolk side dominated the game but lacked a finishing touch in front of goal with both Will Nunn and Veg Konrath missing tap-ins at the far post.
The Dereham goals came late in both halves.
The first was from an unforced error by Tom Campbell-Todd, who gave the ball away to a Dereham striker, who put it away into an empty net after keeper James French had fetched it from wide and was still making his way back to goal.
Joint man-of-the-match displays from Willy Jolly and Henry Dunne could not stop the Norfolk side getting a second goal in the final minute of the game as Bury pushed for an equaliser.
DIVISION THREE NORTH WEST
Watton 1 Bury Men’s 2nd XI 1
CAPTAIN Paul Lawrence scored a late leveller to earn Bury victory in their opening match of the season.
The game started well, with Matt Hulland making incisive runs into the opposition half and good plays around the opposition D by Tom Rash and Alex MacFrey.
However, Watton nicked a goal against the run of play and held the lead at the break, despite roving forward runs from Bury’s Richard Heap and Tony Major.
Bury were overrun at times in the second half, with goalkeeper Marcus Roe earning himself the man-of-the-match award for a series of fine saves.
But with time running out, Lawrence took captain’s responsibility by slotting in a screamer.
DIVISION FIVE NORTH EAST
Bury Men’s 3rd XI 1
Dereham 4th XI 3
BEN Whittaker could not prevent Bury from slipping to defeat on his senior debut, while Alex Blumfield made a return to the side in the home reversal.
An experienced Dereham team scored an early well-worked goal, but Bury stepped up their game and finally put away one of their chances when Simon Davies combined well with Blumfield to slot home.
However, Dereham were quick to punish Bury for their naivety in committing so far forward by scoring another breakaway goal before sealing the match with a third as the home side pressed for an equaliser.
UEA 3rd XI 3
Bury Men’s 4th XI 1
BURY travelled to play a skilful student side in their first league match in Division 5NE, without a number of influential players.
Bury found themselves two goals down within the opening 10 minutes, but Robert Dyball was supported in midfield by Peter Watson and Bury began to exert some pressure on the UEA goal.
This pressure was rewarded when Watson drilled the ball home from a short corner.
Sensing the tide was turning, Bury pushed forward but were caught on the counter to concede a third goal just before half-time.
In the second half, Bury were able to match UEA and had a number of chances to equalise – James Cracknell was unlucky not to score a hat-trick, but there were no further goals in the contest.