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1st XV - Match centre

Bury St Edmunds
Sat 22 Apr 15:00 - RFU National League - National League 2 South Full time

No Happy Ending!

Bury were unable to grant outgoing coach Gavin Hogg a final Home win as a resolute Canterbury did just enough to edge out this disappointing encounter.

Bury 13 Canterbury 14
Bury were unable to grant outgoing coach Gavin Hogg a final Home win as a resolute Canterbury did just enough to edge out this disappointing encounter.
A bumper crowd, swelled by a healthy travelling support, had hoped for a free flowing game between two mid table teams with no league status concerns. The match was meant to be a celebration for Bury to recognise the work of Gavin Hogg over the last 6 years and the support of lead sponsor Adrian Lewis for 10 years of generously helping sponsor the club.
Instead, both sides served up a disappointing affair! With nothing at stake, a sunny day and a hard fast track it should have made for a free flowing spectacle, instead the teams cancelled each other out for large periods of the game.
A promising start for Bury, a try after just 5 mins for the returning McBride was never really built on by Bury who monopolised possession but struggled creatively to break down a well organised defence. Only an O Grady penalty was added to the Bury score in the first half.
Both sides were guilty of almost trying too hard, looking to entertain, trying complex moves off first phase, rather than the more conventional, earning territory, building phases and working the opening.
Back Rower Cantwell dragged his side back into the contest on the half hour, He was bundled over by his fellow forwards after fellow flanker McCormick had cut through a gaping hole in the Bury defence. Tom Best’s conversion made it a one point game at half time.
The second period continued in similar vein. Bury with the lion’s share of possession but lacking the nous or creativity to break down a tremendous Canterbury rear-guard action. Both teams continued to be guilty of poor execution when it really mattered. The set piece was scrappy, kicks were wayward and a final pass that might have set a player away often did not go to hand.
Bury thought they may have won the game when Will Affleck squeezed over in the corner on 67 minutes, Bury had enjoyed a long spell in the Canterbury 22 but somehow the visitors had managed to survive and not see a man sent to the bin despite a seires of penalties conceded. However a storming 20 metre catch and drive by the forwards engineered the space for the diminutive fly half cum Winger to race down the blind side and dot down next to flag.
However rather than cement the home win that the crowd craved they made a hash of the restart and gave Canterbury the chance to score from a resulting penalty. Debate raged as to whether Best’s kick had gone dead, instead a lineout 5m out was given and despite initial forward drives being stopped, scrum half Smart burrowed over. Best’s superb touchline conversion gave the Pilgrims a narrow lead.
The final 5 minutes saw a frantic Bury side pressing for a winning score but as had happened for most of the match, the attacks were too lateral and lacked a cutting edge to break through a stubborn defence.
Disappointment then that the crowd of 750 could not send Coach Gavin Hogg and skipper Dan Collins on to pastures new with a win, but still an enjoyable day, made extra special by the multitude of mini players from both sides mixing and playing in the sunshine.
Full Time.
Bury 13 Canterbury 14
Crowd 752
Scoring Sequence.
5 Try McBride
14 o G Grady pen
67 Try Affleck

30 Try Cantwell
31 Best Conv
70 Try Smart
71 Con Best.

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
9. Henley Hawks 30 75
10. Clifton 30 70
11. Bury St Edmunds 30 65
12. Worthing 30 53
13. London Irish WG 30 52
14. Barnstaple 30 51
15. Barnes 30 51

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