Bury Wolfhounds hold off Colchester Ravens to lift Suffolk Plate
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk Plate Final Bury Wolfhounds 21 Colchester Ravens 20 Bury survived a spirited Colchester fightback to claim the Suffolk Plate in its new format.
The west Suffolk side began the game brightly and in the opening quarter had the upper hand in the forwards.
A powerful scrum gave referee Matt Rozier no option than to award Bury a penalty pretty much straight in front of the posts and Matt Hunt duly obliged with the kick.
Not long after, Oxborrow and Young combined well at a lineout to set off a driving maul by the forwards and Jake Thurlow emerged from the heap of bodies over the line to claim the try.
Frost converted to make it 10–0 to Bury and the hosts were looking good.
Slowly but surely Colchester then started to come into the game. Cook in the midfield began to cause alarm and his strong run earned Colchester a penalty which was duly converted to make it 10-3.
Both sides were really beginning to open up and the game was developing into a thrilling contest.
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Colchester lost a man to the bin as Rozier was keen to ensure that both sides would not be allowed to slow the game down or impede positive play.
The visitors managed to survive being a man down but almost immediately on his return, a second player was yellow carded and this time they were made to pay as Hunt added his second penalty to make it 13–3 at the break.
In the second half, the lighter Bury forwards were struggling to hold their beefier counterparts and inevitably George Stokes paid the price for entering the side of a ruck to slow the ball down.
With a man advantage, Colchester grabbed their chance to close the gap. Vine proved unstoppable from close range as he benefited from good work by his forwards. Suddenly it was 13–10 to Bury and the game was very much in the balance.
Both sides exchanged penalties as the game entered its final 15 mins at 16-13 Bury.
Restored to full complement Bury looked to have sealed the game with a sweeping counter attack. Having been on the back foot for much of the half, Bury managed to break free of the shackles and get deep into Colchester territory.
Swift hands worked the ball to left wing Hunt 15 metres out. The youngster had little space and the attentions of two would-be tacklers but somehow he managed to force his way over to give Bury an eight-point lead.
But with Thurlow the fourth player to be sent to the bin, it would mean for the last seven minutes Bury would be forced to play with 14 men.
A poor clearance kick fell gratefully into the Colchester left wing’s arms and he powered for the line. Although he was managed to be halted the ball came open and referee Rozier rightly adjudged that a Colchester player was tackled without the ball to prevent him scoring.
The penalty try awarded in front of the posts meant the deficit was now just a single point, with a couple of minutes left on the clock.
But Bury survived a frenzied last couple of minutes to hang on for the victory and a jubilant side celebrated with the Plate.