Haverhill captain Zac Evans says Bury St Edmunds comeback was ‘one of proudest moments’ he has had with the side
‘One of the proudest moments I’ve had playing for Haverhill’ - that was how skipper Zac Evans described his side’s fantastic derby day comeback at home to local rivals Bury St Edmunds III on Saturday.
The hosts were 12-0 down at half-time but revived themselves in torrid weather conditions to run out 21-17 winners to claim the bragging rights and register their second victory of the Eastern Counties Greene King Division One West season.
“It was a fantastic game. It’s probably one of the proudest moments I’ve had playing for Haverhill. It was a combination of grit and determination from the boys and it showed everything that Haverhill Rugby Club is all about,” said captain Evans on his side’s high-spirited display.
“We went down to 13 men at one point and we were already missing some key players as well, but the way the boys came together and fought for one another, it was just fantastic to be a part of and a great achievement.
“This was what Haverhill is all about. Sometimes we don’t have a full squad and we’ve sometimes gone over to games even without a full team. But the way we banded together epitomised what this club stands for.”
After a disappointing first half, Haverhill gathered at the break in challenging conditions.
With the rain lashing down onto the squelching turf and players soaked to the core, it would have been so easy for Haverhill to let the game turn into a rout.
Two weeks ago, after their 52-12 loss to March Bears, Evans described his group of players as ‘second to none’ and had full faith that they would turn their fortunes around as they entered the derby with two losses and two postponements – due to not being able to provide a squad – in their last four games.
Some would not have believed Evans, but he had full faith in his side and they turned their fortunes around in the second 40.
Two quick tries from Ellis Agass and Ryley Agass – with two conversions from Ellis – put Haverhill 14-12 ahead but Bury crossed the whitewash again to take the lead with just 10 minutes remaining.
However, a last minute try from Aaron Carr and conversion from Ryan Agass won the match for Haverhill to spark jubilant scenes in the pouring rain.
“At half-time I asked the boys to find an extra five per cent. They found five per cent and more. To push after being down again, after what was a really successful second half, and ultimately get that winning try was fantastic,” said Evans.
“It’s always nice to get one over your local rivals and it’s a huge confidence boost. It’s what the team needed and I think it’s lifted a lot of players.
“I had messages from several of the players afterwards to say how much they enjoyed it and how much they enjoyed being part of the win.
“If it was just a whitewash, they’re nothing games. To have that nitty-gritty tightness to the game brought the players closer to each other than ever. It wasn’t just the win, it was the way we went about it.”
It was an impressive victory from Haverhill, as it condemned Bury St Edmunds III to their first defeat of the campaign and keeps them only two points above their rivals.
Haverhill, sitting seventh in the standings, have another break in their fixture schedule this weekend, before they travel to Saffron Walden II on November 4 (2.30pm).
Adam Hunt still remains in charge as interim head coach, and it looks like he will continue his tenure at the helm for the rest of the campaign.
As well as this, injured player Connor Franningham has helped Hunt on the sidelines and ex-professional Gavin Homer has also joined the set-up.
Evans stated that he feels things are ‘coming together’ for Haverhill as they look to continue to make tracks up the table.