Bury St Edmunds grab first National 3 victory of the season, against Hertford

Scott Lewis collects the ball for Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Shawn Pearce

Scott Lewis collects the ball for Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Shawn Pearce - Credit: Archant

After last week’s disappointing opening week reverse, Bury responded in positive fashion with a commanding 43-21 National 3 victory against Hertford.

Bury ran in six tries to exorcise the ghosts of last week’s frustrating loss at Gravesend, and even the concession of two late tries did little to damp the delight at The Haberden.

From the outset, Bury spread quick ball and opened their account on six minutes when Shaq Meyers sent newly-appointed captain Chris Snelling scampering for the line. However, a good tap tackle stopped the skipper marking a dream start, but the ball was retained and scrum half Scott Lewis darted over the line for 5-0.

Eight minutes later, Russell reduced arrears for the visitors with a penalty, but Bury soon hit back and, after kicking a penalty deep into the Hertford 22, Birrell hit his jumper and the green and gold pack drove for the line. The first wave was halted but Prop Loma Kivalu spun off the side of the maul to touch down. Tristan Rawcliffe’s conversion made it 12-3.

Hertford struggled to live with Bury and Rawcliffe landed three successful penalties before the break to send Bury into the changing rooms 21-6 ahead.

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The second half did not quite start as one would have hoped, Bury’s kick going out on the full, but Black’s fine work at the scrum forced Hertord into conceding a penalty.

A kick to the corner once again saw a well-executed catch and drive with Kivalu again being the beneficiary as he rumbled over from 10 metres.

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Russell’s well-struck penalty reduced the arrears to 26-9, but Bury struck again to effectively end the game as a contest.

Samoa looked to be heading for a score after a turnover but when he was stopped just short, Bury stayed patient, recycling the ball and making space for Kivalu to storm over for his hat-trick try and Bury’s bonus point.

Bury’s forwards really began turning the screw, Birrell, Adams and Kivalu enjoying the scrum time and, with the back five working well, were having plenty of possession on the front foot going forward.

On the hour mark, Bury extended their lead. Once again a penalty was kicked deep and, once again, the hosts’ catch and drive from the line out was effective.

Hertford’s first up defence was good but Bury stayed patient, recycling the ball over and over again until Samoa had a one-on-one seven metres out. He easily won the contest to skip in between the sticks. Rawcliffe’s extras made it 38–9.

Bury scored directly from the re-start.

Lock Tim Young set the ball roling with a fine break from a hanging kick. Samao and Kivalu were up in good support and flanker Nick Styles scored his first try for the club.

With 20 minutes left, Hertford began to throw caution to the wind and stretch the home defence. Black’s interception denied a certain score whilst only text book line out defensive work allowed Bury to clear their lines on more than one occasion.

Hertford battled to the end and engineered the space for lock Keuhmann-Hall to slide over by the posts, Russell adding the conversion.

With effectively the final play of the match, Hertford scored again, right wing Russell bursting clear and winning the race to his own clever chip over the top to add a rather flattering scoreline to the visitors.

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