Bury Saints American football team win first-ever league game, beating Essex Spartans 19-13

Bury Saints, in gold, play the Essex Spartans

Bury Saints, in gold, play the Essex Spartans - Credit: contributed

BAFA National League South Central Bury Saints 19 Essex Spartans 13 The Bury Saints came from behind to secure a scrappy 19-13 win over the Essex Spartans in their first-ever competitive league game at Thurston Rugby Club.

The Saints beat the Spartans 19-13

The Saints beat the Spartans 19-13 - Credit: contributed

A punishing first half was dominated by the defence of both teams.

Despite taking the lead on a one yard run by running back Ramsey Orr in the first quarter, the Saints’ offence struggled to move the ball against an aggressive Essex defence.

Fortunately the Bury defence was on top form again and the home team went into the half time break with a narrow 6-0 lead.

In the third quarter the Spartans took advantage of more errors by the Saints to take a 13-6 lead on runs of six and 22 yards.

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But it was the Spartans turn to falter in the fourth quarter as errors on special teams finally sparked the Saints’ offence into action.

The game was tied on a three yard run by running back Scott Curry after a superb 29 yard catch and a run by wide receiver Sean Linnane moved the ball to the verge of the Essex goal-line.

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The winning score came with less than two minutes left in the game. In a drive that featured a spectacular catch by Trevor McBride on a crucial third down play, quarterback Guy Mitchell scrambled for a touchdown on a nine yard run and a 19-13 lead.

In a fitting end to the game, the Saints defence sealed victory by stopping a late Spartans push.

Saints head coach Chris Wallis said “It was a scrappy game and Essex was the tough opponent we expected.

“There’s no question we were lucky, but our defence kept us in the game and the offence eventually came good when the game was on the line,”

The Saints’ next game is away at the Watford Cheetahs on May 11.

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