GALLERY: Bury St Edmunds defeat East Grinstead on emotional day for club
- Credit: Archant
National 3 (London S & E): Bury Saint Edmunds 13 East Grinstead 8 As the members and supporters of both East Grinstead and Bury paid tribute to the memories of the tragic events of 40 years ago, the players from both sides put on a tremendous spectacle.
Bury produced arguably their finest game of the season, as inspired by a tremendous home support, they went toe to toe with a very good Grinstead outfit.
Both sides have reputations for throwing the ball about and the intent was there by both teams but the defence on show was at times staggering.
For the opening 20 minutes Bury threw the proverbial kitchen sink at their opponents, however, Grinstead were supremely organised and disciplined in defence smothering many Bury attacks.
Just as frustration began to surface, Bury managed to breach their defence. Will Martin weaved his way through but Grinstead’s Mat Betty just managed to catch him 15 metres from the line. However, Logan Dodds was up in good support for a canter in by the sticks. Martin’s extras made it 7–0.
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One of many pivotal moments in the match occurred just after the half hour when Grinstead’s Toby Borrow was really beginning to influence the match. His work both in attack and defence was just as every coach would want from a No 7.
However in his rash attempt to catch Bury Fly Half Jesse Rush in possession, his head collided with the knee cap of Rush After a worrying time laying prone, he was led groggily from the pitch to play no further part in the match.
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The intensity of the first half continued in the second and a strong cross wind slightly favoured Bury, highlighted when Martin landed a superb penalty from 45 metres whereas Scott Meakin for the visitors saw his kick dip under the bar.
It was taking a mighty effort by the Bury pack to hold the visiting forwards at bay and several times they had held up or turned over possession when scores looked imminent. However a lapse in concentration allowed Grinstead to disrupt a scrum and as the ball spilled loose, Nelmes scooped up the ball and raced down the blindside for a score in the corner.
With five points the difference, Matt Edison and Ben Radmall continued to work tirelessly in the loose whilst Tanimo Samoa’s defence in midfield was outstanding.
Youngster Sean Davies was led from the field after clashing heads with Grinstead’s Tredgett, but the Bury forwards were not to be knocked off their stride.
They forced their way up towards the line forcing Grinstead to concede a soft penalty and Martin duly landed the kick. Grinstead would play the remainder of the match with 14 as Gleave was sent to the bin.
Bury led by two scores but could they hang on? Grinstead would not go down with a fight and they penned Bury back for the final moments of the match. Gaps began to appear in a tiring Bury defence and yet the scramble defence held firm. Penalties were conceded, scrums went back, surely Bury would fold. With less than two minutes to go Meakin appeared to have scored but was deemed to have been held up and the visitors elected to kick a penalty and earn a bonus point in the hope of perhaps snatching an unlikely win in the last play of the match, which they nearly did.
All the memories of recent last gasp events with TJ’s and Westcombe Park began to surface around the Haberden faithful but somehow Bury hung on, overturning an attempted catch and drive and leapt with delight when the referee blew for full time seconds later.