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1st XV - Match centre

Taunton Titans
Bury St. Edmunds
Sat 27 Oct 15:00 - RFU National - National 2 South Full time

Bury suffered a humbling defeat to the Titans in deepest Somerset.

A much improved second half performance could never repair the damage of a horror show first 40 minutes when Bury shipped 36 points.

A much improved second half performance could never repair the damage of a horror show first 40 minutes when Bury shipped 36 points.
Having looked like they would be on the end of a cricket score, the visitors held out until the 75th minute before finally conceding two trys in the dying minutes.
The game never got going for Bury.., knocking on the kick off set the tone and although Bury then won the resulting scrum against the head, a poor clearance allowed the hosts to run the ball back through some ineffectual tackles for Mason to score.
Bury did enjoy a spell of possession but as the line out began to malfunction and once again the ball was knocked forward, the initiative was handed back to Taunton,
One of the few bright spots for Bury was the performance of the scrum. Even with the loss of Cooper following a clash of heads, it remained solid all day long.
However Taunton still doubled their lead on 12 minutes when Mason crashed the ball up from a scrum 20m out and Hayler was on hand to power over from close range.
Chances were few and far between for Bury but O Reilly, making a welcome return in the centre, did manage to squeeze through a gap and charge down field. With support arriving on his outside, he chose to go it alone and the chance went begging.
With Bury’s lineout now in complete disarray, Taunton were dominating proceedings. Bury defended well but were again powerless to stop Taunton from adding to their score on 23 minutes. Again the Bury scrum held firm, but the strike runners proved too powerful and Lee eventually forced his way over. Kingdom’s extras push Taunton out to 19 – 0.
Perhaps the pivotal moment in the match came ten minutes later. As beset them in recent weeks, Bury were lacking a cutting edge in midfield before finally Ben Leng managed to burst clear and get Bury into the Home 22. A desperate Titans defence conceded a penalty under the posts, which Bury elected to scrum rather than kick at goal. Bury attacked but when only feet from the line, fumbled the ball in contact. The hurried clearance kick hung in the swirling wind and whilst two Bury defenders stood back and watched the ball bounce, Titans skipper Mason raced onto the ball, gathered and sprinted 60m for a killer try.
Before Bury knew where they were, they had conceded two more tries in the last 2 miunutes of the half. If this had been a boxing match one might have been tempted to throw the towel in as Bury looked disorientated and dishevelled as they trudged down the tunnel at half time trailing 36 – 0!
‘HALF TIME TAUNTON 36 BURY 0
It had been a sobering half for Bury. Yes Taunton had been very good, but they had seized on every Bury mistake – and there were several – and made them pay.
The second half would be about damage limitation and restoring some pride.
To that extent, Bury could rightly claim they achieved that. The weather took a serious turn for the worse, driving rain adding to the strong swirling wind, probably assisting Bury.
Cam Ritchie had moved up to fly half and his show and go got Bury deep into the Titans 22 after just 5 minutes. An illegal tackle halted the move giving Bury another glorious penalty chance and a yellow card to the Taunton lock. However, once again Bury lost the ball when trying too hard to force the score and the Titans escaped.
Bury began to shade the contest and were getting their fair share of penalties but as before the failing Lineout lost them field position. No 8 Prior was a constant threat for Taunton and his strong ball carries often set the platform for Mason and Rice to make inroads down the middle of the park.
Bury dug in and created a few chances of their own. Connor O Reilly – who had a fine game – broke the Taunton line and then linked with Fin Sharpe who had come in from the opposite wing. Sharpe was only denied by a fabulous last gasp tackle by Full Back Kingdom.
20 minutes in and still no further scores. Hasenlechner introduction had added some much needed tempo to the Bury attacks and both he and Ritchie made half breaks that could not be converted to something tangible.
As the clock ticked down to the final 5 minutes, a tiring Bury side were cruelly picked off. Firstly a fumble on the Bury 22 as The Wolfpack tried to run out of defence was kicked through and “Toots” touched down.
And then in injury time, with the last play of the game Taunton made it the half century. Bury were penalised for a double movement, the penalty was taken quickly and although Bury scrambled back, there was no stopping Sam Prior from 5 metres to round off the scoring.
FINAL SCORE TAUNTON 50 BURY 0
Bury Man of the Match. Tom Brown – tireless work in a losing cause.
A bad day at the office to follow up a couple of indifferent recent performances. Bury will need to lick their wounds and bounce back immediately when they entertain Worthing at The Greene King IPA Haberden next Saturday,

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# Team Pl Pts
9. Barnes 10 26
10. Dings Crusaders 10 23
11. Bury St. Edmunds 10 21
12. Clifton 10 18
13. Guernsey 10 16
14. Old Redcliffians 10 13
15. Birmingham & Solihull 10 12

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