The Wolfpack turn up the heat on a freezing day.
By Simon Lord
Bury bounce back from recent defeats with an 8 try feast!
National League 2 South.
Bury St Edmunds 57 v Old Redcliffians 7
On the back of two recent defeats, where Bury had been frustrated to break down two very strong sides, Bury swept aside a hapless Old Boys side. A snow free pitch but bitterly cold conditions saw the Bury three quarters have a field day, running in 8 tries. Reds competed well in close quarters but out wide they just could not live with the hosts.
The returning Ben Leng at 12 and in particular Cam Ritchie at 10 were instrumental in the victory. However it needed the platform created by the forwards for them to profit. The Wolfpack more than matched their muscular opponents, edging the set piece and dominating at the break down.
An early penalty by Johnson settled the nerves, the youngster would go on to kick 8 out of 9 for a personal haul of 17 points in a classy kicking display. The penalty was quickly followed up with a try on 13 minutes. Walker’s steal in the tackle allowed Harvey to kick Bury deep into Old Red’s territory. The line out was won and Bury worked their way up to the line before Alex Grey – who had another fine game, forced his way over.
Grey followed this up by running onto a deft Yas Browne pass to make 40metres downfield before finding Sam Bixby to run round next to the posts. 17 minutes in and Bury 17 to the good!
Red’s did briefly look like getting on terms when Talbot pounced on an overthrown line out to drag the score back to 17 – 7 midway through the first half but that was as good as it got for the visitors.
Those brave souls that ignored the temptations of the 6 Nations on the big screens and the bitterly cold temperatures were treated to an open and entertaining game, which certainly suited Bury.
As the half drew to a close Bury extended their lead. Walker Bixby and O Reilly had carried the ball well before Ritchie’s clever interplay with Kohler gave the fly half a deserved try. Ritchie chipped over the defence, Kohler despite being pulled back got to the ball first before passing back to Ritchie to run in. Red’s misery was compounded by hooker Ward being shown yellow for his attempt to prevent the score.
HALF TIME: BURY 24 OLD REDS 7
The second half was one way traffic as Bury cut loose against a tiring Reds.
Despite being a man down the Bristolians did come out of the changing rooms firing, but the midfield defence of Leng and O Reilly nullified those attempts and a dominant scrummage earned Bury field position. The line out won, the ball was moved left before being switched back right to a move direct from the training ground. Dummy runners and a mis pass created a huge hole for Mark Kohler to run into and glide his way over.
On occasions this season, Bury have got themselves in good positions before easing off. This time however, despite having the bonus point in the bag, Bury showed no signs of relenting. Red’s looked dispirited and Bury put them to the sword. Kohler and Ritchie combined once more to send O Reilly racing away for a popular score on 51 minutes.
5 minutes later and Bury scored again! Leng’s long downfield kick was backed up by Grey turning the ball over from the resulting line out and a desperate Red’s defence was forced to drag down Ritchie as he tried to race onto his own chip through. Bury elected to take a scrum from the penalty and Kohler made no mistake when he was given the space out wide to make it a double for the full back.
The foundations of the win was built on great defence and Bury, despite flying in attack, were determined not to let Reds back into the game. The visitors plugged away but Bury absorbed the attacks and then picked them off with sweeping counter attacks.
Leng should have got on the scoreboard but lost control of the ball as he stretched out for the line but Red’s relief did not last long.
The final two scores fittingly went to Jaid Wiltshire. The substitute relished playing against his brother, firstly out pacing the cover defence following good work by O Reilly before then sprinting 50 metres down the field for the final act of the game
Bury: Tries Grey (13) Bixby (16) Ritchie (37) Kohler (46, 55) O Reilly (51) Wiltshire (72 78)
Johnson 7 cons and 1 pen
Old Reds: Try Talbot (21) Con Hill
Bury: Kohler, Bodkin, O Reilly, Leng, Johnson, Ritchie, Harvey:
Robinson, Francombe, Hill, Bixby, Scholes, Grey, Walker, Browne.
Res: Cooper, Uru, Graham, Limlei, Wiltshire.
Old Reds: Owen, Bird, Jones, Gervais, Clements, Hill, Wiltshire:
Caulfield, Ward, Mcgrath, Pursall, Talbot, Fry (cpt), Coster, Doyle.
Res: Harvey, Kloska, Parsons, Rice, Fry.