Bury St Edmunds chief impressed with his side's 'second wind' in 27-24 comeback win against Old Albanian in National League 2 East
Jacob Ford was impressed with how his Bury St Edmunds side found a second wind to come from behind and beat Old Albanian 27-24 on Saturday.
The Wolfpack fought back from 12-7 down at half-time at the GK IPA Haberden to get back to winning ways and keep their hopes of a top four finish this season in National League 2 East alive.
A brace of tries from captain Matt Bursey, both converted, and two Charlie Reed penalties sealed the second-half comeback for Bury, who had got off the mark in the first half with a Ben Cooper try.
“I think we missed three opportunities to get a bonus point, which was quite disappointing considering we need every point we can get at the minute,” Bury’s head coach and director of rugby Ford reflected. “I thought the start of the second half we really showed what we’re about.
“I think on reflection it was our 10th game in a row. To actually get a period of the game like that where we had really good intensity and basically that’s what decided the game was really pleasing.
“We’ve given the lads a week off this week to be refreshed for the last two games.
“I was pretty impressed with how we came out in that second half and put them to the sword.
“It’s probably something as a coach you see a dip in performance, especially in the Barnes game.
“I think we were just mentally and physically fatigued going into that Barnes game, so to then dig deep and find a second wind if you like on Saturday was really pleasing.
“I think the lads really do need a week off to be energised and focused for these last two games we’ve got.”
Bury (6th) conclude their campaign with a trip to Guernsey (April 14) and a home clash with Henley (April 22), with the gap to fourth-placed Dorking currently standing at eight points.
“They’re two games which will be tough tests,” Ford said.
"Guernsey are a tough opposition and then Henley at home it will be a big day to end the season and we want to finish on a win at home.
“We’ve got a long shot to get that top four now after the Barnes result (31-14 defeat). We need results to go our way and we need to pick up maximum points from the next two games.
"One thing's for sure, we’re going to continue the fight and throw everything at it in these last couple of weeks."
It was a weekend which saw young talent shine at the Haberden, with teenager Ollie Saddleton producing a man of the match performance on his first-team debut on Saturday, while the next day the club's Colts fell just short in their bid to reach the National Under-18s Cup final, losing 18-12 to Tonbridge Juddians.
"It was Ollie's debut for Bury and he was absolutely excellent," Ford said.
"He's only 18 and he was making breaks and being physical against National 2 players.
"He's really stepped up for us. He's one of my boys from Ipswich School and he's been with Northampton Saints Under-18s all year."
And on the Colts' club-record run, Ford said: "The boys were excellent all season.
"I think the most pleasing thing when I was watching the semi-final was they were competing on everything and didn't give in.
"I think there were large periods of the game which we were defending for those periods and it's difficult when you defend for long periods to then go and attack. It can really affect your energy levels.
"We had the chances to win the game and it just didn't quite fall our way, but the support from the club, I think there were more people watching that game than the first-team game, which just shows how together the club is.
"It's been a great season for those boys and they should keep their heads held high. They've done the club very proud."