Bury St Edmunds suffer last-gasp defeat in controversial game which sees THREE of their players dismissed

Tim Young, George Bretag-Norris & Matt Edison in action for Bury

Tim Young, George Bretag-Norris & Matt Edison in action for Bury - Credit: Archant

A touchline conversion with the last play of the game denied Bury the win in controversial circumstances at Hertford on Saturday.

A monumental performance by the Bury players was overshadowed by the loss of three players being shown a red card.

Throw in a controversial penalty try and it was understandable that visiting players and supporters felt aggrieved at the final whistle.

Bury faced the form team in National Three for what promised to be a festive cracker. Sadly that spectacle was ruined in the 48th minute when an unsavoury skirmish after a scrum saw two players from Bury and one from Hertford see red for punching.

And when Charlie Pask was also show a red card in the final minutes, it merely added to the sense of injustice.

There was little indication in the first half as to the fireworks that was to come. Hertford raced out of the blocks clearly fired up and throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at Bury.

Russell landed a penalty after seven minutes, but Bury were not going to be intimidated.

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Bury had use of the slope first and kicked intelligently to turn the powerful Hertford forwards around. Good work by Kivalu engineered a penalty which Cook calmly despatched to bring the scores level.

On 20 minutes, Hertford retook the lead. Bury were deemed guilty of not rolling away in the tackle and Russell slotted homee the penalty. The three-point lead was doubled eight minutes later when Bury fell out with the referee.

Meyers appeared to have the ball knocked out of his hands at a ruck, backchat then saw a penalty given and made easy for Russell to put Hertford 9-3 up.

Bury drew level with two penalties and the first try of the day.

A solid scrum allowed the ball to go wide left. Solomon made good ground before slipping inside to Sage, he was well-tackled, but the ball went back out to Solomon for a try in the corner.

Then came the turning point of the game. What seemed like a minor skirmish seemed to get out of hand. Kivalu did not react well and was shown a red card. What was disappointing was that the referee chose to also red card the Hertford tight head and Kieran Black from Bury.

The sense of injustice among the Bury squad was not helped, when, from the resulting penalty, Hertford were awarded a penalty try.

Cook put Bury back in front and then Sage ran the ball back well from deep to set up Bury’s next score. Staying on his feet, he gave his forwards a target and a quick ruck ball gave Mann a one-on-one opportunity 15 metres out and he was not to be denied. Cook’s superb touchline conversion put the 13 men 27-19 ahead and he made it 30-19 a few minutes later.

Bury stole an attacking line-out but a charged down kick allowed Sloan to dive over in the corner and after consulting with the touch judge, the try was given.

Hertford laid siege to the Bury line and the home side broke for the line 10 metres out. The referee deemed Pask had halted the move by kneeing the player in the head! He was red-carded too.

The start of the move had indicated that the whole sequence was the last play of the match. Bury had to stand and watch the final act of the match sail through the posts for a dramatic last-gasp win for Hertford.

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