Bury St Edmunds suffer last-gasp defeat to Old Elthamians
- Credit: Archant
A penalty in the 79th minute from Tom White gave victory to the visitors in dramatic fashion.
The home side can have no complaints as they failed to capitalise on dominating great swathes of the match but failed to convert possession into points.
The Londoners had a dream start finding themselves 10 points to the good within four minutes.. Accidental offside from the kick-off allowed White to land a simple penalty kick and three minutes later he was converting a James Golledge try after he had intercepted a Bury three-quarter move going sideways.
Bury responded well to the set back and for much of the remaining 35 minutes dominated proceedings. The OE’s coaching team had done their homework though, negating many promising attacks with great pace off the line and discipline in defence.
In contrast to recent weeks, the Bury backs struggled to make an impact, however the forwards were dominating in the set-piece and this was their primary mode of attack.
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Having made the hard yards, Bury continued to try and go wide but were met with stubborn resistance.
Flanker Lee Nelmes led a superb visiting defensive effort that invariably resulted in a Bury players becoming isolated, resulting in turn overs or penalties. The half ended with Bury camped on the OE line but a stoic defence refusing to yield.
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The second half sprung into life with three tries in the first five minutes.
Firstly, Brad Cook was the benefactor of great turnover in the tackle by Hema. Quick hands put the mobile prop in for the score, which he converted himself. Two minutes later Bury led for the first time when scrum-half Adam Marshall was left home alone following an attacking line-out on the visitors 22. The diminutive No 9 darted down the blind side as Elts assembled themselves to stop the expected forward drive.
Having established a lead, Bury then switched off at the re-start, missing several first up tackles to take Dowsett within metres of the line. When the ball came back, the white shirts outnumbered the Greens allowing a simple run in for right-wing Jon Webber.
The half then mirrored much of the first. Bury shading the possession charts but struggling to break through a well-organised tenacious defence, and then the visitors, particularly Golledge and Surman, looking dangerous on the counter,
A yellow card to Eddison for an accidental high tackle seemed to take some of the wind out of Bury’s sails and certainly allowed OE’s to gain parity in the set-piece.
With a little over 10 minutes to go, Bury finally got the breakthrough!.
Hema’s delightful angle inside Affleck saw him burst clear. Having been half stopped, he then broke again to within 15m of the line, Stapleton was up in good support to send club captain Snelling in for the score. It was 17-15 Bury but the home side were made to pay for not closing the game out.
OE’s executed a classic smash and grab, when a penalty earned once again from tenacious tackling saw them deep in the Bury 22. A series of scrums and drives were repelled but the Bury defence was too desperate and White made no mistake with a straightforward penalty.