Bury Under 14's take on Southworld in the County Cup Final
By Richard Barnes
An enthralling End to End battle played in brilliant spirit between 2 great squads - The result determined the Bury Boys missed out on the Cup this year but the way the game was played was a credit to both sides!
Bury travelled to Southwold for the last round of the county cup on a wet and windy day for what was effectively a final, with the winner guaranteed to lift the cup.
Bury played in to a strong wind in the first half. After a tense opening in which Josh Barnes set the tone with a big tackle on their No8, Southwold drew first blood with their centre breaking through to score with that being converted. Bury then countered with a period of sustained pressure with the pack picking and going to great effect. Adam, Sam H, and Josh Wallis ,hammered away at the Southwold pack. An offside saw us fall just short of their line. Southwold then went up the other end and scored a breakaway try through their captain. They were great individual displays in defence by Lucas and Kane, but Southwold broke through to score again , with the conversion taking the score to 19-0.
Undeterred Bury then fought back scoring a great try on the stroke of half time. Sustained driving from the pack punched a hole in the Southwold defence and was followed by the ball going though Josh Bullingham and Connor before Alex scored, cleverly taking the opportunity to run around under the posts . Stuey slotted the conversion to take the score to 19-7 at half time.
The second half saw the game ebb and flow but with Southwold starting the stronger looking to put the game to bed. Solid Bury defence repulsed Southwold’s big runners,and Bury wrestled the initiative kicking deep in to the Southwold 22 from a penalty. From a Kit Bevan lineout the maul was set with Big Jack taking the ball on supported by the pack and the centres, only for the maul to be collapsed as a try looked inevitable. The ref awarded a penalty try which took the score to 19-14.
Further dynamic work in the loose from Ryan and James saw Bury push deep in to the Southwold 22, and from a lineout, Bury set another rolling maul, which this time fell agonisingly short of the line with Big Jack again at the bottom, just held up by the defence. From the 5 metre scrum the Bury pack with the likes of Kit Archie Cansdale , Hari and Archie held firm under massive pressure, Scott expertly picked from the base of the scrum and smashed his way over the line near the corner flag to level the scores and delight the Bury support. The conversion from out wide fell agonisingly short.
With a few minutes left to play from the kick off Southwold recovered the ball. Despite valiant defence including one massive hit by Findlay, Bury could not clear their lines or find the chink in the Southwold defence, running from deep in an attempt to keep the ball in hand and force the win. Right at the death after a turn over and penalty, a slick move out wide saw Lampost pile over in the corner to give Southwold the victory.
It was nerve wracking, but a great game that went to the wire. All of the boys showed tremendous character and belief in themselves to fight back from 19-0 down. Thank you to the parents for their vocal support, to the subs for their patience and the lads not playing who made the long trip to support their mates. Congratulations to Southwold who are worthy cup winners, thanks also to them for their hospitality and complimentary words about our team after the game. Thanks also to the ref who was first class. As we finished second in the group we go forward with Southwold to represent Suffolk in the Eastern Counties regional cup at the end of April, which is a huge achievement for our squad.