NATIONAL 3: Bury St Edmunds 36 CS Rugby 1863 32
- Credit: Archant
Somehow Bury managed to win this match, and end a run of four straight losses, despite Civil Service outscoring the Suffolk side five tries to three.
After a positive start, where Bury kept possession for several phases, CS took the lead with their first meaningful attack.
The reputation of the Service threequarters going into the match was that they were on a par with the finest in the league, and they did not disappoint as a sweeping counter attack was only denied by the cynical actions of Sam Bixby on the try line. A penalty was awarded and Bixby rightly shown the yellow card.
CS fly-half Scott Hadden had no problems skipping over from seven metres and converted for good measure to make it 7–0 to the visitors.
Despite being down to 14, Bury played with maturity, keeping the play in the CS half and Dave Ormrod at 10 kicking more tactically than of late.
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And three Ormrod penalties duly made the score 9-7 Bury.
CS won the re start – something they were to do on frequent occasions – and showed just how dangerous in attack they could be Only a knock-on prevented a certain score for centre Stu Peel.
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But Ormrod was having one of those games where he could not miss with the boot. In all the Kiwi landed 21 points with a perfect kicking display.
A drop goal when nothing was really on pushed Bury to a 12–7 lead.
With five minutes of the half remaining, Casey Stone again led the charge from deep and this time he was able to link up with Aaron Waters, the lock found Snelling out wide who made good ground before slipping the ball inside to the supporting Tim Mann for an easy canter in around the posts.
Ormrod’s extras made it 19–7.
By now Bury clearly had their tails up and they hounded the CS defence into retreating 15 metres before conceding a penalty. The half time whistle could not come soon enough for the Stags, and they escaped to the changing rooms 22–7 down.
CS began the second half well, forcing Bury back and within four minutes Hadden slotted a straight forward penalty to reduce arrears to 22-10.
For Bury, Charlie Paske’s introduction from the bench had almost instant dividends as he twice took the ball on well creating an overlap which man of the match Ben Radmall exploited to power over in the corner.
Ten minutes in, and after Ormrod’s superb touchline conversion, the score stood at 29–10.
But for the remainder of the match Bury were on the backfoot.
Rich McLaughlin scored two quick tries for CS and Webber then touched down – and the score was suddenly 29-27.
CS were running the ball at every opportunity and looked likely to breach a watery looking Bury defence on every occasion.
Ironically, a decision to kick the ball cost them dearly.
A missed touch field kick was well caught by Snelling.
The return kick was allowed to bounce and whilst the visiting defenders dawdled, Snelling found Casey Stone who returned the compliment for a popular score in front of the grandstand.
It was 36- 27 and Bury had some breathing space with 10 minutes to go. But CS were not finished.
With six minutes remaining their patience was rewarded when they kept the ball alive long enough for Webber to squeeze over in the corner. The closing five minutes felt like hours for the nail biting home supporters but Bury hung on – just!