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1st XV - Match centre

Bury St Edmunds
Sat 29 Apr 15:00 - RFU National League - National League 2 South Full time Attendance 203

Bury signed off for the 2017 season with an exhilarating win away in Bristol.

The Wolfpack did just enough to edge out a 9 try thriller and send departing players and notably Gavin Hogg, on their travels with a smile on their faces.

Clifton 30 Bury St Edmunds 33
Bury signed off for the 2017 season with an exhilarating win away in Bristol.
The Wolfpack did just enough to edge out a 9 try thriller and send departing players and notably Gavin Hogg, on their travels with a smile on their faces.
From a purists point of view there would be much one could pick holes in, but from a spectators view, and there was a healthy travelling support, it was a joy to watch.
Clifton, with one eye on a forthcoming cup final and Bury looking to give some younger players a chance to shine, entered into the spirit of the day, throwing the ball about from the minute go and in fact scoring after just 2 minutes!
There were shades of obstruction in the build-up but space was created for their right wing to squeeze over in the right hand corner. Within 4 minutes Bury had drawn level! Mc Bride followed up his fine tactical kick to then weave his way through a static defence from the resulting line out. The Fly Half was stopped metres short but Dave Micklethwaite was up in good support to crash over. (Unfortunately that was the last act for the flanker as he suffered a bang to the head in grounding the ball).
The frenetic nature of the game continued with Bury in the ascendancy. Selby’s accurate line out throw was driven on well by the forwards and Ross Bailey – Kearney sliced through a gaping hole in the midfield to dot down under the sticks.
Clifton had the benefit of a strong breeze at their backs and they went on to have the better of the first half. A penalty reduced the score to 12 – 8 and then directly from the re start Clifton took the lead. A long flat pass rendered much of the Bury defence out and then quick hands and some slightly suspect tackling allowed the Clifton full back the chance to go in at the corner and then round under the posts. The fly half converted and then shortly afterwards another penalty to send the Home side into the break 18 – 12 ahead.
No alarms from the players or concerns from the supporters as one felt a 6 point lead was not enough considering the strength of the breeze.
The second half picked up where it had left in the first. Both sides would probably accept that the intensity of some weeks was not present, nor the tackling at its fines, but it made for enjoyable watching.
Bury struck first after 10 minutes ,when a period of structured play earned Bury a line out in the home 22. The forwards gathered the ball, remained patient and organised to bundle over Palmer from 2 metres. Scott Lyle superb touchline conversion put Bury back in front.
A long range Lyle penalty went just wide and Clifton then launched a dangerous counter. A little fumble allowed Shaq Meyers the chance to tidy up superbly and a quick pass by Gillespie put Harry Anderson – Brown away in space. The scrum half had made a 50m break in the first half only to be stopped short. This time the scrum half evaded one tackle and stepped round the final defender for a glorious try.
Lyle conversion was his last act before he hobbled off but it had pushed Bury 26 – 18 up.
Aaron Forest came on to make his first team debut and immediately made a mark with a couple of superb tackles.
Just over an hour on the clock and Clifton unloaded their bench to bring on some serious heavy artillery in the forwards. The young Bury pack creaked and they conceded a series of penalties and scrums in their own 22. Just when it seemed Bury’s magnificent defence had held Clifton at bay, a lineout 10m out was stolen and the Clifton second row managed to force his way over.
With the conversion successful, it was back to a one point game and ten minutes remaining!
Bury won the restart and embarked on a flowing attack. The ball was spread one way then the other and as the Home players fanned out again to defend, Darren Gillespie spotted a gaping hole at the ruck, hopped over the tacklers and raced away 40 metres for a decisive score.
An eight point lead was always going to be enough and as the clock ticked down, Bury’s tigerish defence held out against a desperate Clifton. The home side did manage to finally breach the Wolpack’s line as the right wing was squeezed over in the corner but it was too little and too late to deny Bury a worthy win.
So an end of era…Gavin and some of the players will be moving on to pastures new. The season was perhaps not as successful as one would have hoped but it has still been a pleasure to watch Bury compete in the 4th tier of English Rugby and more than hold their own!

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other National League 2 South results

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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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