6 days ago
By Nigel Birrell
A disappointing day at the GK IPA Haberden for the home support. Simons report below and Shawn's pictures are up too.
Bury 18 Henley 27
The Hawks from Henley deservedly claimed the spoils from a disappointing game that never really hit the heights.
With just a point separating the sides going into the game, the battle for 6th place promised much but failed to deliver for a disappointing Haberden crowd.
A turgid first half saw Bury lead 5 – 3 at the break courtesy of a Sean Stapleton try to a George Jackson penalty.
It was certainly not the result that new coach John Curry wanted as the two sides cancelled each other out in terms of mistakes made during in a poor first half.
Had Fraser Honey got his kicking boots on it may have been different but the normally metronomic kicker saw three first half penalties slide wide of the posts. Bury did get on the scoreboard early doors. An attacking scrum in front of the posts allowed Bury to stretch the Henley defence. Quick hands put Snelling into space but he was just dragged down inches short of the line, however Stapleton was up in good support to dive over the ruck and touch down.
That was about as exciting as it got for the first half. Henley Scrum Half Jackson narrowed the arrears with a penalty, but the half time whistle came as a relief to all.
HALF TIME BURY 5 HENLEY 3
Early efforts in the second half showed little had change since the half time oranges. Both sides lacked accuracy and it was defences that were on top. Salva’s strong run made the space for McBride, and playing with advantage, he chipped the ball through but the bounce just evaded Kohlers grasp and Affleck was unlucky that the ball was then knocked on before he got the ball down over the line. However the referee brought Bury back for the initial penalty and Honey duly despatched the kick.
Almost directly from the restart Henley took the lead! The Hawks forwards won the ball back and Fly Half Butler switched the play back right. Full Back Jack Robinson joined the line and showed a real turn of pace to arc round one defender and then out pace the second for a great try in the corner. Jackson converted and it was the Hawks who now led 10 – 8.
Not for long! A good kick chase by the Bury forwards hounded Henley into conceding a penalty directly from the kick off and Honey once again converted from almost the identical place he had 4 minutes earlier.
Finally the game seemed to be opening up with both sides at last showing some adventure. The key difference seemed to be the in forward exchanges where the visitors began to shade things. A penalty for Henley was kicked deep into the Bury 22 and the ball was then kept for a series of plays until the space was finally worked for Robinson to score his second try.
Henley were now looking the more happier and composed side. Butler’s fine kick forced Bury into defending a lineout 10m from their line. The throw was not straight and the Hawks forwards sensed their opportunity. Two scrums were wheeled around and when the third attempt began to do the same, the inevitable Penalty Try was awarded.
Trailing 22 – 11 Bury were now under a pressure and needing a spark of inspiration, but struggling to find one! Salva now in midfield did get Bury behind enemy lines and with front foot ball, suddenly Eddison was racing 40 metres down the blind side. A quick recycle and the Wolfpack were queueing up to score…Sean Stapleton again the deserved beneficiary.
With Honey’s conversion it was 18 – 22 and Game On with 14 minutes to go!
Still Bury struggled to impose themselves on the visitors and promising attacks often floundered after just one or two phases. Henley’s confidence began to grow again and Butler’s fine break and then intelligent kick ahead saw Robinson grab his hat trick as he easily won the race for the touch down.
In the dying embers of the game Bury did mount one last valiant charge to try and claim something from the game but Henley were now determined in defence and despite Uru’s strong break it was too little too late for the Wolfpack.
Updated 07:47 - 13 Mar 2018 by Becky Haywood