GALLERY: Bury Rugby Club slip to third straight defeat against Westcombe Park

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club entertains Westcombe Park at The Haberden on Saturday
Scrum half Cody Ma

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club entertains Westcombe Park at The Haberden on Saturday Scrum half Cody Mason stops a Westcombe break - Credit: Archant

Bury slipped to another home defeat after a disappointing performance against Westcombe Park saw them lose their third game in a row.

National League 3 London & SE

Bury 16

Westcombe Park 18

Bury slipped to another home defeat after a disappointing performance against Westcombe Park saw them lose their third game in a row.


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Will Martin had penalty kicks in both the 75th and 79th minutes that would have won the game for Bury, but both slid agonisingly wide.

Had either gone over, it would have papered over another performance that was littered with errors.

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For the third week running Bury failed to build on promising leads and whilst the previous defeats had much to do with the opposition’s play, this time most of the fault lay at their own feet.

Once again the side showed several changes from the previous week, Tim Mann making a surprising return to midfield and Chris Hamilton and young Sam Maile making their first team debuts.

Bury got off to a dream start when after only four minutes Casey Stone touched down in the corner.

Paske’s fine kick in behind the Combe defence was hacked on by Stone and he then was first to touch the ball down as it crossed the whitewash.

Martin’s excellent touchline conversion put Bury 7–0 to the good.

Westcombe’s first meaningful attack saw former Diss man, Hamish Barton wriggle away and a Bury transgression at the resulting ruck allowed Ian Gordon the simple chance to convert a penalty and make it 7-3.

Just over halfway through the first period it was Bury who were starting to get a foothold in the game.

Skipper Matt Edison and debutant Maile both made good ground with ball in hand, earning Bury a penalty. The ball was rumbled close to the Park line but they managed to repel the initial thrust.

However they never quite cleared their lines and Sam Bixby returned the ball with interest only to be halted illegally. Martin kicked the penalty and it was 10–3 after 26 mins, before another penalty made it 13-3 at the half.

Westcombe dominated the opening minutes of the second half and it took a dazzling break by Paske to relieve the pressure. Sadly for Bury, as they were to do on several occasions, they came away from the Combe 22 without registering any points.

One could feel the game starting to slip from Bury as the error count started to rise and the visiting players’ confidence grew in equal measure.

A simple penalty by Gordon for midfield offside by Bury closed the gap to 13–6 on 50 minutes.

Then Westcombe scrum half Faurie raced through another gaping midfield hole.

The ball was kicked deep into the Bury 22 forcing Martin into conceding a line out 10 metres from the try line.

A well-executed catch and drive saw prop forward Tim Cananagh emerge from a mass of bodies to claim the try. Gordon missed the conversion but the score now stood at 13–11 to Bury at the hour mark.

Edison, as he did against Guernsey, then won a superb race to the restart and powered into the visitors’ 22.

This time Bury did manage to earn something for their captain’s endeavours when Martin landed a penalty to ease the Bury nerves and make it 16-11.

But Combe’s only meaningful three quarter attack generated a try with 10 minutes to go.

Trent Nattrass came back on an angle and went through too many weak tackles to get his side close to the line.

The ball was recycled well and Barton’s fine game was rewarded with a try under the posts.

Gordon’s simple conversion put Combe up for the first time in the match at 18-16.

Bury still had opportunities to snatch the game but it was not to be.

Ben Radmall’s good work in the tackle earned Bury a penalty on 75 minutes for a Park player not releasing and a deliberate knock on by Nattrass on 79 minutes also generated a penalty.

But Martin’s kicks both missed as Westcombe clung on to win.

Bury return to league matters at East Grinstead on November 23.

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