Bury St Edmunds lose by a point at Canterbury
- Credit: Archant
Bury’s inability to close out a game once again cost them dear as a last-gasp try secured victory for Canterbury.
It was heartbreaking stuff for the visitors who had recovered from a poor start to dominate the middle section of the match.
Losing bonus points were scant reward but come the end of the season may prove crucial.
Canterbury scored two tries in the opening seven minutes and the visitors were soon 12-0 down.
Cantabs were penalised at the restart, allowing Bury to try their own catch and drive routine. Good yards were made but a fumble by Mark Kidson saw the move break down.
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New signing Pierre Peres was making an immediate impact at scrum half for Bury and his fine break got them on the scoresheet, the Frenchman linking with Scott Lyle who kept the ball alive to send skipper Josh Walker cantering over. Lyle’s successful kick made it 10-7.
Bury’s Mat Hema then very nearly nosed his side ahead when he charged down an attempted clearance, but the bobble of the ball was unkind and the defence recovered.
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However Hema was not to be denied and on 20 minutes he pushed Bury in front. Tim Mann bounced off three tacklers to take Bury downfield. The ball was recycled well and a series of intricate passes saw Shaq Meyers slip the ball back inside to Hema for a splendid score. Lyle added the extras.
Bury conceded almost directly from the kick off. The restart was fumbled, setting Canterbury off with a series of plays, culminating in Bury going off their feet at a ruck. The penalty was kicked to 10 metres and once again, a well-organised catch and drive resulted in a try.
Peres was finding holes, Mann was almost through and now it was the city side’s turn to have to defend an attacking line out.
The Bury drive was good and with referee Bourke indicating Bury had an advantage, Lyle’s superb cross field kick found winger Chris Snelling. He was held up just inches from the line, but up popped Hema to bundle his way over from the resulting ruck. Lyle’s touchline conversion gave Bury a 21-17 half-time lead.
Bury quickly picked up where they had left off. Kidson did superbly to scoop the ball up and feed it to Hema.
The Kiwi fixed the defence before giving Will Affleck the opportunity to shimmy over in the corner.
This time Lyle could not quite land the kick but he did so three minutes later when Micklethwaite capped a fine first start for Bury with a try.
Six minutes in and the visitors led by 33-17.
However, they conceded a penalty at the kick off and allowed Canterbury straight back on the attack.
A line out catch and drive was stopped but centre Tom Best was not when he charged over close to the posts. Beaumont again could not convert.
Canterbury were always dangerous on the counter and just before the mid point of the half managed to narrow the deficit, through Sayers, but the conversion was missed.
Leading by four, Bury were dominating the territory but could not put the game to bed. Kidson and Lyle combined well to put Mann into space, but with the line at his mercy he fumbled the pass.
The clock ticked down and a penalty to Canterbury had to be run.
From deep in their own half and through fully 12 phases, they kept the ball and worked themselves up to and into the Bury 22. Another penalty was conceded and there was a card to Peres.
With no time left on the clock, the penalty was ran again. The ball went left before being switched back right. With a man down, Bury were made to suffer as Canterbury scored the 11th try of the game through Sayers
The conversion was unsuccessful.