Two late tries deny Bury victory at Barnes
National League Two South
Bury St Edmunds 24
Two last gasp converted tries denied Bury the bonus point victory their performance deserved, writes Simon Lord.
Most people believed Nick Van Buuren’s try on 73 minutes had given Barnes a losing bonus point but further drama was to happen when Barnes scored with the last play of the match and O’Toole’s nerveless conversion from the touchline snatched a draw.
Having won their previous three matches, Bury were brimming with confidence and within six minutes had opened their account.
Mark Kohler’s break opened up the home defence and Jack Johnson looked odds on to score only to be stopped with the line at his mercy. However the ball came back quickly and Calum Torpey made no mistake from close range. Johnson added the easy extras.
The Wolfpack looked in total control. Bury retained possession for over five minutes, stretching the hosts first left then right before space finally opened up for Jacob Bodkin to stroll over. 12-0 Bury after 18 minutes.
However Bury soon over-complicated a line-out, handing the ball back to Barnes and they kicked the ball to the corner for a driving maul try. A sign of things to come saw O’Toole land the conversion from wide out to make it 12-7.
The same player landed a penalty just before the break to make it 12-10 Bury at the half.
After the restart, a sweeping move out wide set Bury away, the forwards then took over, driving the ball deep into Barnes territory. The ball once again was retained and recycled over and over again until it worked its way to Fin Sharp on the right wing, who had too much pace and power to be stopped.
Then it looked like Bury had won the match when they extended their lead with just under 10 minutes to go. Kohler crashed the ball up the middle of the park before Alex Grey’s deft inside pass sent Mike Graham bursting through.
The giant lock was in unchartered waters but he sped into the home 22 before timing his pass superbly to the supporting Will Scholes to go over by the posts. The conversion meant that Bury had a 14-point lead at 24-10 with only minutes remaining.
But it wasn’t to be. A lapse in concentration saw Van Buren knife through to score, before a drive-over try gave that man O’Toole the chance to tie the game with the conversion as time expired.