Bury’s second-half rally is in vain as Hawks hold on to win at The Haberden
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds 21 Henley Hawks 27
Sam Sterling’s brace of second-half tries were not enough to prevent Bury St Edmunds from sliding to a sixth defeat in their last seven matches, at home to Henley this afternoon.
For the second week running, the Wolfpack left themselves with too much to do, after a below-par first-half showing.
Bury were effectively beaten by half-time at London Irish Wild Geese the previous weekend, before rallying to lose 36-24, and they were on the back foot again after trailing 17-0 to the Hawks by half-time at The Haberden today.
The hosts cut that deficit to six points, and so to within one score of beating Henley, who played the last 27 minutes with just 14 men due to centre Alan Awcroft’s red card for a punch.
But Gavin Hogg’s men ultimately fell short of their goal, although they did at least collect a losing bonus point to stay seven points clear of the bottom three.
Bury were desperately slow out of the blocks, and four minutes of sustained pressure resulted in a try for Xavier Andre on the wing.
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Henley doubled their lead to 10-0 in the 21st minute, via one of their catch-and-drive moves from a line-out. Flanker Rob Bell took the ball over the line.
Wing Simon Perry then intercepted Sterling’s stray pass to run three-quarters of the length of the pitch, George Jackson converting to stretch Henley’s lead to 17-0 at the interval.
Bury were a side transformed in the second half, with replacements Harry Anderson-Brown, at scrum-half, and Dave Micklethwaite, at No. 8, making a difference.
From the kick-off, a Henley mistake led to Lyle kicking a penalty to the corner, and eventually captain Tom Rock released Sterling to power over for his first try, Lyle converting for 7-17.
However, Henley restored their 17-point lead through Connor Morrison’s converted try, before Jackson also landed a penalty for the Hawks, who had by now been reduced to 14 men.
Just 60 seconds later and Sterling burst through for his second try, a wonderful solo effort which saw him break several tackles.
Bury bagged a third try, from another line-out, but the hosts could not score again during the closing minutes.