Bury made to work for Worthing win
- Credit: Archant
National 2 South Bury St Edmunds 20 Worthing 10 A late Liam McBride penalty sealed the game for Bury and in doing so denied Worthing a losing bonus point.
A late Liam McBride penalty sealed the game for Bury and in doing so denied Worthing a losing bonus point.
The penalty in the 75th minute calmed the nerves of The Haberden faithful who, for the second time this season, had seen their team cruise to a comfortable half-time lead, only to then spend the second half on the back foot.
Bury marched into a 14-0 lead early in the game but suffered a nervy ending as their opponents fought back.
The hosts took the lead early on, capitalising on a missed penalty effort from Worthing’s Matt Maclean.
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The 22-metre drop out was fumbled and from the resulting scrum, Shaq Meyers escaped down the middle of the park, before finding Jacob Bodkin to touch down in the corner. McBride’s fine conversion put Bury 7-0 up.
The ease at the way Bury extended their lead must have been a cause for concern amongst the Worthing coaching staff.
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A long speculative kick down field by Bury was thrown forward by the visitors when seemingly under no pressure. Bury earned a line out shortly afterwards and from what seemed like a routine miss move in the centres, Sam Sterling ran in under the posts without a finger being put on him. The try was converted.
Maclean did get Worthing on the scoresheet when Bury were penalised for sealing off at the ruck following the restart, but the remainder of the half belonged to the Wolfpack.
That said, on the back of a strong scrum, Worthing did have a glorious chance to score but having worked an overlap, the last pass to winger Alex Wilcockson missed its target and sailed into touch with the line beckoning.
Perhaps the crucial point in the match came just before half-time. Another fine break by Meyers had caused panic in the visiting defence and a yellow card to lock Scott Barlow.
A flowing move ensued and with referee Alexis Manly indicating Bury having an advantage, somehow they contrived to butcher a two-man overlap.
Back Bury went for the scrum but even with a man advantage they could not force their way over as Chris Lord was stopped just short.
Nick Bingham led another charge for the line that opened up scoring opportunities but, at the five-metre line out, Worthing stole the ball and cleared their lines.
Bury emerged from the break 17-3 up but an early missed chance from Sterling was the last opportunity for the hosts for around half-an-hour.
With Worthing back up to full strength they went on the offensive. and with No 8 Liam Perkins and Barlow to the fore, the visitors looked to power their way down the middle of the park.
Gillespie saw yellow for Bury when he was deemed to have deliberately knocked the ball down and, with the extra man, Worthing really turned the screw.
The pressure was now relentless and the rearguard action, where Stapleton was superb, somehow managed to keep the visiting Raiders at bay.
Finally Bury did concede a try, but when it came, it was out of keeping with previous Worthing attacks.
A seemingly straightforward backs move worked the ball to Maclean, loitering on the right wing. Faced with three defenders in front of him, he elected to kick down field and with a sharp turn of foot and a kind bounce, he won the race to touch down in the corner. Converting his own try, it suddenly put Worthing within a score of Bury.
With Cai Griffiths playing well in the set scrum, Bury finally got a little bit of go forward and began to push Worthing back into their own half.
Attacking the favoured Grandstand corner and roared on by the crowd, a series of drives finally saw the Raiders’ resolve crack.
Sensibly the penalty award was elected to be kicked and McBride made no mistake.