... a bit Suffolk
A biting East Anglian wind Sunday at Bury Saints' practice Sunday but still a very decent turn out including half a dozen spectators. The Red Lodge pitch is looking a lot better than last year with the grass less tuffty/clumpy, a new head coach Brett Hughes and some new to us players with rocket launcher arms ... gonna be an interesting season.
fr 31 Jan
we 20 Nov
Standing on a sideline in Red Lodge watching american football with a Bury Saint either side of us. A closely pursued running back approached and we were gratified that the players either side started to move before us, we'd always felt a bit soppy running away:) Having seen this we will now start running sooner.
tu 23 Jul
Before Sunday's match (the Bury Saint's last at home this season) the referee opined that correct male (there were no ladies playing) attire for gridiron is to tuck the shirt in. The response was mixed:) Playing in a good spirit the visiting London Hornets had a strong running game, passing was not so strong and wayward PAT kicking leading to a 30-12 loss. Encouraging to see Ipswich Cardinals water boy volunteering, a proper journalist would have got his name.
tu 11 Jun
Sunday the Red Lodge Pavilion car park was more then overflowing because there was a kid's soccer tournament as well as the season rematch of hosts Bury Saints and visitors the Cambridge Cats. Despite the Cats' difficult to stop running backs and high completion passing the Saints just failed to win by not getting in for two at the end of the game. The Saints' next home game is 2pm Sunday 23 June, a free day out and usually the bar is open.
mo 13 May
Yesterday in Cambridge some twenty four Bury Saints outnumbered maybe two to one by hosts the Cambridge Cats had a very honourable 10-18 loss. Two men with mobile phones were broadcasting the game live on student radio station Cam FM and a first for us, at the game end the refs understandably applauded the players.
tu 15 Jan
The Bury Saints have moved over the county line from Thetford to play at Red Lodge Sports Pavilion in Suffolk this year .... appropriate eh?
mo 20 Aug
Yesterday for the first time this season the Bury Saints outnumbered (if only by a few) their opposition the Bristol Aztecs. The Saints had a promising start but as the game progressed tiredness led to injuries, a rolling clock and a 56-13 loss. The players were sufficiently engrossed in play that a visit by a World War II Lancaster bomber prompted only casual glances. Big props to all the coaches, helpers and especially youthful waterpersons and best wishes for a rewarding season on return to Division One next year.
mo 13 Aug
Yesterday's Bury Saints v London Olympians in Thetford was full of incident including starting 45 minutes late because the medic couldn't find the venue. The refs ended the game early because an injured player on the field couldn't be moved until an ambulance arrived so we're uncertain of the score but certainly an Olympians win.
tu 5 Jun
Before Sunday's Bury Saints v London Warriors american football game in Thetford there was a minutes silence for Cambridge Cat player Charles Mack who passed away in hospital after a heart attack during training. Donations to his family can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/c-mack.
th 26 Apr
Sunday we counted 23 starters including newbs and at least one coach doubling up for the Bury Saints season starter. 23 clearly made a steep hill to climb against opponents London Blitz. Subsequent injuries reduced the 23 but the Saints determinedly stuck at it preventing the tsunami that might have been expected. Sadly no Saints Cheerleaders this year but the pizza outside the clubhouse smelt wonderful. Pix on that there Facebook.
mo 10 Jul
Bury Saints v Bristol Aztecs Sunday in Thetford was the Saints' last home game of their first season the Premiership and only their fourth season since formation. The Premiership has been a big bite for the Saints and not helped by losing their starting quarterback, a running back and they are short one lineman. This year no relegation in the Premiership so they will be back next year and we're looking forward to it.
tu 16 May
Yesterday the Bury Saints had their first win in their first season in the Premiership.
we 10 May
The Bury Saints played London Blitz Sunday as the Saints' first home game in the Premiership . They were on a different pitch with a decent sized scoreboard, tiered seating, an announcer/commentator, programmes and the black van of True Wings who had a permanent queue until they sold out though a mercy dash soon restocked them. The Saints scored first with a converted touch down but eventually lost 36-07. For us the difference was the running game with the Saints RBs often being stopped at the line of scrimmage whilst the opposing backs found holes. The Saints are at home again this coming Sunday, a bit of a drive from near the coast but an excellent free day out.
mo 10 Oct
Despite hints of rain and a wind that made our camera holding hands a touch painful some 30 at the Bury Saints new player session yesterday in Stowmarket. No contact until January and the players divide themselves in to defence and offence. A second Bury new player session next weekend in the Bury leisure centre (been there for roller derby) and nearer to the ntc homeland Ipswich Cardinals have two newbie sessions next month.
mo 29 Aug
Yesterday at the South Leeds Stadium home of rugby league team the Hunslet Hawks the Bury Saints beat Edinburgh Wolves 21-13 to become Division One champions. Annoyances were no scoreboard, the ref not wired to the pa and only vending machines for catering but though somewhat dwarfed by the stadium both sets of supporters were totally committed as was the play. A magnificent and sporting game that we can only hope will be the Premiership final next year.
su 14 Aug
Last month we saw the Saints beat the Colchester Gladiators to win home field advantage. On the adjacent pitch there was a motor bike show and such a scorcher that the visiting bench briefly run out of water.
Three weeks later we saw Bury beat the Yorkshire Rams 35-00 in the quarter-finals on another roasting day but this time a black van was serving chicken wings and fries.
Today we saw the Bury Saints beat the Sandwell Stealers 42-13 achieving promotion to the Premiership and progression to the Division One final in Leeds on the 28th.
tu 7 Jun
Six hours of British American football at Colchester Rugby Club Sunday. A very rewarding tuck stall, a scoreboard (we do find it hard keeping up with the score especially when it's not clear whether a point after at the other end was good or not) and half time entertainment from twirlers carrying as many injuries as a roller derby league. Hosts Colchester Gladiator's defence started strongly but the very short handed team faded to a 40-00 whitewash from the Bury Saints. In the second game Kent Exiles came from behind for a 28-14 win over Herts Cheetahs. Enjoyed it all and thankfully no overtime.
tu 3 May
The weekend before last we saw Bury Saints beat Solent Thrashers 19-6 at home. A scrappy match that in the spirit of Shakespeare's anniversary might be described as a Comedy of Errors. For us the most surprising moment was when the visiting defensive coach was warned for unsportsmanlike conduct because one of his hand signals to his own players could be interpreted as threatening (NFL Rules Section 3 Article 1b). This Sunday the Saints play the Herts Cheetahs, free admission.
su 10 Apr
Despite a pleasant morning here in near the coast we suspect that this year's Paris-Roubaix could be a muddy one. Either way we won't be chasing it around the Internet because we'll be near Thetford snapping the Bury Saints v Sussex Thunder rematch that was such an outstanding semi-final last year ... it's free admission.
mo 9 Nov
As most of the grass near the coast was sodden Saturday we expected Thetford rugby club to be the same but either the pitch is remarkably well drained or it's been drier in that there Norfolk. Despite a 31-0 shut out on international visitors the Rotterdam Trojans the Trojans sportingly played a final post game rush where hosts the Bury Saints brought on a tiny running back who took it in for a TD.
we 9 Sep
We knew the NFL had changed the rules about overtime but were very confused when they were needed Sunday near Thetford. It took nearly an hour but as a playoff there couldn't be a draw. In the end the Sussex Thunder couldn't get in for two points to match the Bury Saints who progressed to the final and will meet Bristol Apache near Leicester this Saturday.