Fine win for the Wolfpack as they take the points at Worthing
- Credit: Archant
National League Division 2 Worthing Raiders 22 Bury St Edmunds 24
Bury survived a nervous last few minutes to claim victory on the South Coas, writes Simon Lord
Neither side played with the fluency they are often associated with, so the game therefore, never really developed as a spectacle until the closing moments when the tension levels rose.
It had been hoped that the two mid-table teams would throw of the shackles and produce an entertaining game, but the error count from both sides resulted in numerous stoppages, not aided by an official who seemed intent in getting his messages across, rather than letting the game flow.
The match started in disastrous fashion for Bury as they shipped a try within 45 seconds of the start. Jack Harvey’s box kick was a little too deep, but that didn’t account for some woeful defending as Matt Mclean ran almost 50m without a hand being placed on him for a try!
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Stung into action Bury began to put pressure on the hosts but a mis-firing line-out twice allowed Worthing to escape.
The game was fast, but far too loose for Bury’s liking and silly mistakes were costing them. What was good was Bury’s kick chase, one of which forced Worthing into conceding a 5m scrum. Sam Bixby drove well off the back of the scrum to create the space for Jaid Wiltshire to go over for the first of his two tries.
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Anton Limlei converted and then five minutes later scored himself to stretch Bury out to a 14-5 lead. A solid line-out just inside the Worthing half was sped out to Ben Leng who timed his perfectly to send Mark Kohler racing away. The winger was dragged down 10 metres short but the Wolfpack support players were up quickly and Limlei strolled over.
The second period again got off to a scrappy start before Bury scored a glorious try.
Tui Uru did really well to deflect a line-out Bury’s way before Pat Robinson then made good yards down the middle of the field. The ball was then sent left and once again Ben Leng timed his pass superbly to create the space for Wiltshire to run into. The speedster then had enough pace to just get over the line before the cover tacklers arrived.
With Limlei once again adding the extras, things looked rosy for Bury at 24-8 up.
However, the resulting re start saw Bury penalised for offside and Worthing took advantage to kick to the 22m line.
The ball was then worked in field before weak tackling once again allowed Curtis Barnes in for a soft try.
An unseemly squabble involving several players resulted in a yellow card being shown to Worthing’s Forrest, but quite why it took the officials so long to come to that decision was a mystery.
It appeared the game was drifting to an uneventful conclusion until with eight minutes to go Worthing rounded of a penalty advantage with some deft handling to create the space for Barnes to squeeze over by the corner flag.
Mclean’s tremendous conversion into the strong cross wind suddenly made it a two-point game.
Worthing smelt blood but Bury remained calm to see the victory through.