Bury produced their finest display of the season to run in 7 tries away in North Devon
National League Division 2
Barnstaple 24 Bury St Edmunds 39
Bury produced their finest display of the season to run in 7 tries away in North Devon.
Had skipper Liam McBride brought his kicking boots with him the margin could have been much greater, instead he only managed to land 2 kicks from 9 attempts!
Once again Bury were faced with a much larger opposition but they more than matched the heavier forwards and dominated proceedings for most of the game.
The Wolfpack made light of the several changes from the previous week due to injury and unavailability, getting into their stride from the outset.. Mitchell was denied a try from a short line out routine due to a forward pass but Bury were not to be denied and Sam Bixby was driven over from another 5 metre line out.
Within two minutes Bury had doubled their lead. The try was a real team effort! Collen Smith drove down the middle, McBride then threw a fine miss pass to Bixby who broke one tackle to set Lord free…He then jinked his way through before slipping the ball to Tui Uru for a glorious score. McBride hit the post with his conversion, a portent of things to come!
Murphy landed a penalty for Barum before the hosts then enjoyed their best spell in the match, scoring two tries to take a 17 – 10 lead. Both were scored by left wing Speare. The first was a result of some poor Bury defending, the second was a more conventional finish as the Bury defence was outflanked following a penalty.
Bury got back on terms thanks to an incredible break by Chris Lord. There seemed little on when Will Affleck fielded a clearance kick and brought the ball back to half way. His pass to Lord sent the full back through two defenders, before a further three more tacklers were avoided as he cantered in by the posts!
Harry Anderson – Brown was back in the 9 shirt for Bury and he was instrumental in getting them back in front. A fine 50m solo break was finished off when replacement Prop Scott Brown was bundled over from close range.
A half time lead of 22 – 17 was healthy enough but what might it have been had McBride landed 3 conversions and two penalty attempts!
Bury always looked to have the upper hand in the game but could they score the points to make their dominance count. The set piece more than held its own, Brown, Stapleton and Bixby worked tirelessly at the breakdown and out wide Bury always looked to have too much pace for the hosts.
A cagey start to the second period burst into life when Stapleton ran over the top of a ruck and stormed downfield. Again Bury stayed patient forcing Barnstaple into conceding a penalty and this time it was Collen Smith who was driven over by his fellow forwards from a close range line out.
Anderson – Brown continued to excel both in attack where his sniping breaks were a real menace or in defence with noticeable cover tackles and some fine box kicks.
15 minutes into the half and Bury notched up their 6th try! A solid scum on half way was passed left to Affleck. The diminutive winger danced his way out of two tackles to supply the on rushing Yasin Brown. Although the No 8 was stopped short, Bury remained calm, kept the ball and stretched the home defence right then left to create the space for Stapleton to squeeze over by the corner flag. 32 – 17 and the game seemingly in the bag for Bury.
Week on week this new side is gelling and improving. The defence, so fragile versus Tonbridge now seems organised and committed. Lineouts and scrums are solid despite often coming up against larger opponents and in attack players are now beginning to react more intuitively to fellow teammates.
Barnstaple were given a lifeline when Bury gifted them a simple try. The home side had been trying to turn the screw up front but Bury seemed to be managing the threat. However, Tui Uru had the ball ripped from his clutches as he tried to drive the ball away from a scrum 10 metres out. The ball was quickly passed to Barum No 8 Bayet who could not miss from close range!
With only 8 points now the margin it was very much game on! Barnstaple had their tales up but were met by a brave and valiant Wolfpack defence. Bixby and Brown led the defensive line whilst Anderson Brown and McBride kicked deep to turn the Reds back round and have to start again from deep.
It was a forlorn hope for the Devonians, Try as they might, there was no breaking through the Bury ranks and as the clock ran down, inevitably one forced pass to many allowed Bury centre Guillane Duplenne to show commendable footballing skills to dribble through and touch down his own kick ahead.
McBrides second conversion was the final act of the match and put the icing on a quality performance. Coach Ollie Smith had predicted a tough challenge but the side more than rose to the occasion leaving the management team beaming late into the night!