Rugby Union: Bury 29 Letchworth 21
Bury successfully defended their unbeaten home record this season in a dour encounter against Letchworth, a team that Bury drew with earlier in the season.
Bury 29 Letchworth 21
Bury successfully defended their unbeaten home record this season in a dour encounter against Letchworth, a team that Bury drew with earlier in the season. Still missing the inventive spark of Beukies, Bury drafted West into midfield, with Ant Lavea coming in at full-back.
Bury took an early lead, the visitors encroaching round the side of a ruck, and Marius Van Den Berg successfully collected the three points. The visitors responded well, and Ben Geatches was penalised for obstruction, giving Letchworth the chance to draw level.
In a game that was stop-start, with very few flowing phases of play, it took a moment of individual brilliance from player coach Dwain Brown to take Bury into the lead.
Scrum-half Tom Chennel took a quick tap penalty 40 metres out, passed to Brown, who skipped round several despairing tackles to score. Van Den Berg failed with the conversion, and with a subsequent penalty, to leave Bury leading 8-3 at the end of a disappointing first half.
The second half saw more disjointed rugby, with frequent offsides and forward passes being missed by the official, and the large crowd was frustrated by the lack of flowing rugby.
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A quick tap penalty from Chennel saw the Bury back row swap passes before Ashley Parkes dived over to extend the lead, Van Den Berg successfully kicking the conversion, Letchworth responded with a slightly fortunate 80-metre interception try after a promising back row move broke down in midfield. Bury responded well, and after the Letchworth second row had been sent off for a technical offence, the resulting Bury scrum saw Parkes over for his second try to establish a 22-16 lead.
Again the visitors responded with a well worked move that saw them over in the corner to reduce the deficit to a nervy single point. The game was sealed by the home team in the 78th minute, a routine catch and drive saw the Bury pack drive the opposition back 20 metres for a fine score, touched down by Morgan Cross. Van den Berg completed the scoring to give Bury the points.
With both Staines and Diss dropping points at the weekend, Bury have closed the gap on the top two in London North 2.