Brilliant Bury as good as seal their League 2 status after fine win in Devon

Bury's Will Affleck, on the scoresheet for the Suffolk side at Barnstaple

Bury's Will Affleck, on the scoresheet for the Suffolk side at Barnstaple

National League 2 Barnstaple 3 Bury St Edmunds 29

Bury produced a fine display of rugby in the Devon sunshine that now, barring a mathematical improbability, secures their National League Two status.

Playing into a strong head wind, Bury dominated the first half and only a little lack of accuracy stopped them scoring more.

Their cause was helped by the senseless sending off of Barnstaple Matt Hague.

Hughes and Petherbridge exchanged penalties before Bury took control.

Coutts and Trinder had the edge in the scrum, Whetton and Edison were a nuisance in the line-out and that forward dominance secured Bury’s first try.

A 35m catch and drive took Bury up to the line and when the ball was spread wide, Chris Snelling could not miss.

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The back row all played well but No 8 Maku was outstanding and he was unstoppable from close range after Rock and Kearney had cut through the home defence.

Up 15-3 at half-time Bury enjoyed having the advantage of the strong breeze.

For Barnstaple to get back in the game they needed to score early but it was Bury that scored first and in effect ended the contest. Superb Bury defence forced a Barnstaple fumble and Will Affleck scooped up the loose ball and race away untouched.

With Barnstaple now needing to score three times to take the lead Bury were able to use the elements to create territory and then line up and knock down a tiring 14 men.

Inevitably the game lost a bit of its vibrancy and the only issue was whether Bury would sneak a fourth try. This they did in the last play of the match. Shaq Meyers held his man up in the tackle to earn a penalty and was on hand 45 seconds later to round off a quickly taken penalty by Rock, taken on by Anderson Brown switched left to Whetton to gallop on and then popped back inside to go through Edison and onto Meyers to take over the line.