Bury St Edmunds beaten by the high-flying Wild Geese

Darren Gillespie of Bury

Darren Gillespie of Bury - Credit: Archant

National League Two South London Irish Wild Geese 36 Bury St Edmunds 24 A spirited second half performance was not good enough to paper over the cracks of a woeful first half by Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.

Whilst Bury’s form has been indifferent of late, not even their biggest critics could have predicted their first half effort at the impressive London Irish headquarters, Hazeldine.

Both sides are known for their open expansive game styles and early exchanges suggested that a slightly frosty surface was not going to stop them from reverting to type. Bury ought to have scored in the opening minutes but declined a simple kick at goal to go for the try, sadly it came to nought.

The Geese scored with their first meaningful attack having capitalised on ripping the ball from a Bury player in the tackle. Skipper Moore, went up to the line but was held short but when the ball came back left, centre Kitching proved unstoppable from five metres.

What happened for the next 20 minutes is difficult to explain! Bury seemed mesmerised by the quick counter attacking Irish. Bury simply could not keep up with nor tackle the men in green. The architect of their downfall was left wing G Owen. His pace and ability to stand up a man in the tackle was irresistible!


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His first intervention was to come in off his wing to join a move, following a penalty that had been driven towards the Bury line. As the Bury defence drifted he sped through the gap and easily got the ball down by the posts.

Full back Turner easily converted and then two minutes later did so again following his own try.

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Bury simply refused to learn from their mistakes. Directly from the kick off, once again an aimless kick downfield allowed the Irish to counter from deep. Two long passes seemed to wipe out most of the Bury defence and the remainder just flapped at Owen has he raced down the left flank for another try.

Bury did manage to claw one try back. A penalty was kicked deep, the catch and drive was well organised and Sam Bixby was bundled over to make the score 24-7.

That light dimmed appreciably as the Irish scored twice more before the interval. A disastrous half for Bury ended with another try conceded just before the break as the home team led 36-7.

Bury came out in the second half with nothing to lose and went immediately on the attack.

Within three minutes Bury had scored. In contrast to the first half, Bury constructed the attack well, running straight, recycling well and opening up the home defence to allow Tom Rock the chance to glide over, McBride was unable to land the conversion.

Then Bury scored again. The Bury forwards drove the ball well and then the backs attacked right before throwing back left for Mellet to dot down in the corner, 36-17.

Gillespie then made a fine break from the base of a scrum and was given too much space and time and his show and go saw him sprint over for a Bury bonus point.

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