GALLERY: Bury St Edmunds 37 Hertford 9
- Credit: Archant
Bury produced arguably their finest performance of the season as they bounced back from last week’s drubbing at Dorking to record a comprehensive victory over in-form Hertford.
Bury took the match by five tries to nil, but the victory was built on the back of a superb disciplined defensive display that stopped Hertford at source.
Coach Gav Hogg had worked his players hard in the week following last week’s debacle and the rewards were there for all to see. Rather than the passive, at times half-hearted defence of last week, Bury were quick off the line, committed and aggressive in defence to completely undermine a decent Hertford outfit.
Bury welcomed back skipper Matt Eddison and Tim Mann to the starting line up and their presence was to be very influential but in the early stages the signs did not look very good.
Hertford’s Mann ought to have opened up the scoring but dragged his penalty attempt horribly wide.
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From a Bury scrum 30 metres out the home side took the lead on 19 minutes. A fine backs move saw full-back Casey Stone run round on the loop and his superb offload out of the tackle freed Chris Snelling, in off the opposite wing to score by the sticks.
The game then settled into an absorbing contest with both sides attacking and counter attacking with gusto. Scrum-half Mike Sargent was proving a thorn in Bury’s side with some sniping runs. Another speedy break set up an attacking ruck where Sam Bixby was penalised for handling in the ruck and Jack Mann slotted the penalty to make it 7-3 after 28 minutes.
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Hertford knocked on the restart, granting Bury an attacking scrum in the centre of the field. Tanimo burst through a tackle and found the supporting Tim Mann on his shoulder for another score by the posts. Ormrods extras made it 14-3.
A Bury line-out catch and drive went through several phases before prop Sean Davis powered over from close in to make it 19-3.
On the stroke of half-time, Hertford reduced the arrears with another Jack Mann penalty.
The intensity of Bury’s defence was typified when a series of Hertford attacks that began close to the Bury try line, was driven back and back again, until Mann had no option but to kick a drop goal as he retreated 30 metres from goal.
The midpoint of the half saw the game swing Bury’s way. Another Hertford attack out wide was turned over by tigerish three-quarter defence and one pass later and Dan Garrard was racing clear and chipping over the last line of defence. The flyer was impeded as he was about to collect his own kick. Ady Hales was shown a yellow for his cynical actions and Ormrod slotted a penalty.
Bury broke to give Snelling the space to make good ground and earn Bury a line-out 10 metres out. After a catch, Bury drove forward towards the line and James Mitchell managed to rumble over for the bonus-point-earning try in the corner.
Ormrod slotted a penalty to extend the lead after Mann and Bixby had gone close to make it 30-9.
With the final play of the match, Bury rubbed the proverbial salt into the visitor’s wounds. Hertford got picked off when they tried to attack out wide and Tim Mann escaped down the blindside, bounced off full-back Shaun Brown and sauntered downfield for the score, Ormrod’s simple conversion was the final act of a pulsating game.