Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club win fifth straight game to go top of the table at Guernsey

Brad Cook was Bury's hero in their win at Guernsey

Brad Cook was Bury's hero in their win at Guernsey - Credit: Archant

National League 3 London & SE Guernsey 26 Bury St Edmunds 30 Bury overcame several obstacles to earn their fifth straight win away at Guernsey and go joint-top of the league, with an unlikely hero in front rower Brad Cook kicking three conversions and three penalties to grab the points.

Bury overcame several obstacles to earn their fifth straight win away at Guernsey and go joint-top of the league, with an unlikely hero in front rower Brad Cook kicking three conversions and three penalties to grab the points.

The West Suffolk side had a dream start, scoring within two minutes. Jesse Rush and Michael Sage’s enterprise earned Bury a penalty which was kicked to the corner.

Sam Bixby drove for the line from the resulting line out and although he was held up inches short, Loma Kivalu, the league’s leading scorer, dived over the top of the maul NFL-style to touch down. Cook kicked the first of his six attempts at goal to make it 7–0.

For the next 20 minutes however, it was Guernsey that dominated.


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Scrum-half Scott Lewis was shown a yellow card for tripping his opposite number and Whitehead landed three kicks at goal to edge the home team 9–7 ahead.

Ironically going down to 14 men seemed to inspire Bury and within moments they had scored their second try. Beau Gibson led a charge that was taken on well by Kieran Black and Bixby to get Bury behind the Green defence.

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Tanimo Samoa and Rush then exchanged passes which led to the latter strolling in under the posts for a simple Cook conversion. 22 minutes gone and Bury led 14–9.

Guernsey then scored a fine try to re-take the lead. Having stretched the Bury defence right they spun the ball left and with some excellent handling made their extra man count for winger Shane Taylor to score out wide.

Whitehead’s fine conversion made it 16-14 to the hosts. Lewis returned for the final 11 minutes of the half and the game seemed to swing decisively in Bury’s favour. First they were awarded a penalty at a scrum, which Cook despatched with aplomb from fully 37 metres, then they scored a sumptuous try.

Kivalu barnstormed his way up the middle before Bury then attacked a very narrow blind side. Three quick passes found the ball in Tristan Rawcliffe’s hands but he had only inches to work in. He weaved his way in off his wing avoiding three tacklers before side stepping the full back for a glorious score. Cook’s extras sent Bury into the break 24-16 up.

Whitehead narrowed the gap to 24-19 with another penalty before, as the hour mark approached, Guernsey re-took the lead for the third time in the match with a try from prop forward Bellingham. Again Whitehead was accurate and it was 26–24 to the hosts.

For ten minutes Bury were forced to soak up pressure in their own half before finally breaking free of the shackles. A long kick downfield might have seen Sage win the race for a try but unfortunately the ball bobbled into touch. No matter, Bury won the resulting line out and a desperate Guernsey defence infringed. From wide out Cook bisected the up rights to put Bury back in front by the narrowest of margins, 27-26.

With nine minutes remaining another penalty for Bury allowed Cook his sixth kick at goal, which he nailed to make it 30-26.

With the final play of the match Guernsey looked destined to snatch the victory. With a numerical advantage – Bury’s Shaq Meyers in the bin – and only five metres from the Bury line it looked for all the world they would score the match winning try.

But somehow Bury’s defence held, and they came home victorious.

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