Bury hang on to claim first National 2 victory
- Credit: Archant
Bury survived a nervous final five minutes to secure a deserved first win in National 2, as they beat Chinnor 24-22
Having led from early in the second half, a try by left-wing Nevaro Codlin on 75 minutes set up a tense finale, but Bury closed down the game well and rightly claimed the victory their performance deserved.
The early exchanges hadn’t suggested that outcome, as Chinnor burst out of the blocks looking to atone for their defeat at Southend a week earlier.
An early penalty, aided and abetted by a strong tail wind, was kicked to the corner and No 5 Ben Manning was driven over by his forwards.
The contrast in styles was evident from the outset. Chinnor, looking to use big strike runners down the middle of the park, Bury playing with enterprise and throwing caution to the wind a little.
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Bury’s enterprise was rewarded after eight minutes, the ball kept alive enough for Tim Mann to fend off his opposite number and send fellow centre Sam Goatley in for the try.
Chinnor pressed hard to regain the lead, a series of pick and drives taking them deep into Bury territory, but the luminous yellow-shirted players defended stoically. Once free from defensive duties, Affleck set his three-quarters away on yet another exciting attack.
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Some great angles of running saw Eddison crossing the whitewash, however the try was denied due to a final forward pass.
Not to be deterred, Bury won a line-out 12 metres from the line and a well-worked routine allowed Beau Gibson to rumble up the channel and score in the corner. The strong head wind saw Lord’s conversion drop short.
The lead did not last for long as a fumble at the restart gave Chinnor a scrum on the 22.
Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow scampered down the blindside and up to within three metres of the line.
The home side stayed patient in attack, sucking in Bury defenders before spreading the ball wide for Vandermolen to score. Davies’ conversion edged Chinnor in front 12 -10 after 25 minutes.
Bury were reduced to 14 just before the break when Hema was yellow-carded for a clumsy tackle in the air.
Chinnor made Bury pay, as fly-half Sam Angell burst through a couple of tackles to score by the sticks. Inexplicably Davies managed to hit the post with his conversion from straight in front. The sides went in to the break all square when Mann anticipated Chinnor’s attempt to spread the ball wide. His interception saw him race over and with Brad Cooks superb touchline conversion, the teams headed for the changing rooms 17 points apiece.
Within moments of the second half starting, Bury regained the initiative.
A regulation backs move on half way allowed Sam Goatley some space, but what happened next was a mixture of sublime running from the centre and ridiculous defending from the hosts. Goatley burst through tackles, weaved round others to saunter in by the posts.
Cook made no mistake and it was 24-17. Bury forwards, with Hall to the fore, stood up to the Chinnor bombardment. Scrums and line-outs were repelled, close quarter drives were cut down and midfield space was denied to the hosts.
The clock was running down but it appeared Bury would be safe.
However, Chinnor refused to give in and after waves of attacks, the Bury defence finally cracked, allowing left wing Codlin in for a score. Crucially, the try was in the corner and Davies attempted conversion in to the wind drifted wide.