Bury St Edmunds edge out spirited Exmouth side in National 2
- Credit: Archant
A Chris Lord hat-trick was just enough to see a nervy Bury side home, 33-28, against a spirited and determined Exmouth.
An injury time try by left-wing Downie, against a home team reduced to 13 men – Sam Sterling received a red card and Tom Rock yellow – saw them deservedly take two points from the match.
Bury made the dream start, new signing Glyn Hughes twice converting from tries scored by Chris Lord and lock, Arthur Marini.
However as the half went on, Exmouth slowly but surely retained parity, Bargent and Mathews scoring tries for the visitors that were converted by Cadywood.
It was no more than they deserved, the teams tied at 14-14 at the break, as Bury had gone flat and the Devonians seized the initiative.
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The second period mirrored the first, with Bury bursting out the blocks to score two more quick tries, through Sterling and another try from Lord, the latter after No 8 Maku had powered up to the try line.
At 26-14, Bury were back in control but, once again, they took their foot of the pedal, and a fumble in midfield was seized upon by Exmouth, quickly transferred left, and No 8 Dan Swain had acres of space to gallop over. Cadywood converted again.
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Bury, however, managed to make the game safe with just over seven minutes to go. Hughes’ penalty kick at goal went narrowly wide but Exmouth never really cleared their lines and after Shaq Meyers had brought the ball back with interest down the right, Wiltshire was on the end of a long miss pass to slip the ball back inside for Lord to complete his hat trick. Hughes converted.
Exmouth refused to lie down and their cause was helped with six minutes to go when Sterling was shown a straight red for leading with his fore arm as he attacked the Exmouth try line.
Exmouth made the extra man count and they camped in the Bury 22 for the closing minutes. Skipper Tom Rock saw yellow for cynically slowing the play down, and two men light, it was inevitable that Downie would squeeze over in the corner after the clock had long since passed 80.