Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club set up huge home clash with win at Westcliff

Bury man-of-the-match Greg White heads for a try at Westcliff

Bury man-of-the-match Greg White heads for a try at Westcliff - Credit: Archant

National League 3 London & SE Westcliff 17 Bury St Edmunds 25 Sometimes sport is all about the result and not necessarily the performance – and on Saturday it was certainly that for Bury.

Westcliff, keen to escape the clutches of relegation and on the back of two fine wins over Amersham and Hertford, were fired up and ready to knock the league leaders off their perch.

Both sides made a bright start but in almost a carbon copy of last week, Bury scored with their first meaningful attack.

Tim Mann sheared through the defence to offload to the support runners. Tristan Rawcliffe continued on, fixed the full back and skipper Chris Snelling was delighted to finish off the move. 5–0 Bury after just five minutes.

The mid-point of the half saw the lead change hands.

Bury were penalised for early engagement at a scrum and a quick tap penalty and some good handling resulted in substitute Whiting powering over from close range. Jones added the extras, and it was 7–5 to the hosts.

It went from bad to worse for Bury within five minutes.

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Too often players were getting isolated or losing the ball in contact resulting in the initiative being given to Westcliff.

When a scrum was taken against the head it allowed West to kick to the corner and the Bury line-out was under pressure.

The line-out was stolen, and a well-organised catch and drive saw Dartnell power over for a 12-5 lead.

Moments before the break, Bury got back on level terms.

A bouncing ball in midfield was deftly flicked out to Charlie Pask by Kieran Black.

Pask in space is a dangerous customer and two shimmies and a 40 metre sprint later and he was touching down by the posts.

His own conversion drew Bury level at 12-12 at the half.

Greg White then earned himself the Bury Bulk Powders man of the match title when he scored a superb solo try.

Having superbly caught an up-and-under amidst a sea of bodies, he side stepped his way through the traffic and then raced away for a cracking score. Sage added the extras and Bury led again, 19-12.

Within minutes however Westcliff narrowed the gap. Once again a well-constructed catch and drive proved successful despite valiant Bury attempts to stop it.

Crucially the conversion from wide out was missed and so with 25 minutes to go Bury lead 19–17.

Shaq Meyers then charged down Jones’ clearance kick and was only denied a score by the ball going beyond the dead ball line.

However Bury did extend the lead after good work by Beau Gibson had earned Bury a penalty 30 metres out, slotted through by Pask, to make it 22-17.

With five minutes to go the tension rose and rose, with both teams refusing to give an inch.

Bury though showed more composure both in defence and attack and a well crafted forward drive of their own gained them a penalty 25 metres out. The kick from Pask went through the uprights and turned out to be the final act of the game, painfully denying Westcliff a losing bonus point.

Bury now have a week off before a gigantic home clash with league leaders the London Irish Wild Geese, who will be looking to avenge a 47-17 loss to the West Suffolk side earlier this season.

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