Bury secure their National 2 status with scrappy Southend win
Bury secured their National 2 status with a scrappy 27-15 win at relegation-haunted Southend.
Within 10 minutes, Bury had registered their first score, Matt Hema going over.
The visitors led 5-0 but were brought down to earth when Southend scored their first try, Sonny Gay squeezing over in the corner and Brad Burr converting.
As the 20-minute mark approached, Bury declined a very kickable penalty at goal to go for a scrum. The option proved correct, when after Maku and then Mann powered up to the line, Sean Stapleton bundled his way over. Scott Lyle added the exras to make it 12-7 to Bury.
Burr knocked over a penalty to close the gap but Bury pushed the score out to 19-10, Lord sauntering over this time.
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Bury conceded their second try on the stroke of half time, Gay sprinting 70 metres to score in the corner. Burr could not add the extras.
A superb take by Josh Walker at the line out, five minutes into the second half, set Bury on their way and a desperate midfield seemed happy to concede a penalty, which Scott Lyle duly despatched.
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Bury extended their lead when Walshe was sent to the sin bin and Bury were awarded an attacking penalty. This time they opted for the line out and a well-organised catch and drive allowed Maku to drive over.
Lyle was unlucky to see his touchline conversion hit the post but no matter, Bury led 27-15 and the bonus point was secure.
n Colchester fought every inch of the way in a thrilling contest, losing at second-placed Tonbridge Juddians 34-29, in National 3.
Soon after the kick-off, Colchester were awarded a penalty for offside, which fly half David Higgins converted, but Juddians soon replied with an unconverted try.
Juddians then won their scrum in Colchester’s half and with Brett Cutbush off his feet, Tonbridge’s kicker successfully converted the awarded penalty.
The hosts then scored again but Colchester replied with a James Crozier try.
Damo Brambley then reduced the home side’s lead further, with a try, but Juddians quickly replied with a converted try.
This was followed by another try by the hosts, but later it was Colchester’s turn to respond with Sam Easton touching down and Higgins converting.
Halfway through the second half Juddians scored another try but back came Colchester and another surge by Murphy allowed them to advance towards Juddians’ try line for James Mitchell to score a converted try, giving the visitors a bonus point.