Scott Lyle wins game for Bury with last kick
National League Two South Bury St Edmunds 12 Barnes 10 A dramatic last-gasp penalty from Scott Lyle snatched the victory for Bury at a dank and drizzly Greene King IPA Haberden.
All of Bury’s points came via the boot of Lyle, but his nerveless strike from wide out on the right will long be remembered.
With no time left on the clock, trailing by a point and with a penalty awarded to Bury, it was a gamble to go for goal when one might have been tempted to kick for the corner or even taken a scrum in such atrocious conditions.
However, skipper Dan Collins trusted his full-back to deliver and deliver he did.
As the clock ticked down, it appeared that Barnes’ splendid rear guard action was going to secure the points, but it was not to be.
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With such awful overhead weather, the game was never going to be a classic, rather a case of who could manage the conditions best.
Try scoring opportunities were at a premium and Bury failed to make their early dominance count.
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Chris Snelling’s foot in touch just before he sent Shaq Meyers away and the ball squirming out of Tom Rock’s grasp were the best Bury could offer in the first 20 minutes.
A rare venture into the Bury half brought Barnes the first points of the day and the only try of the game.
A knock-on gave Barnes an attacking scrum on the 22 and despite wasting a glorious overlap, they earned themselves a line out close to the Bury try line. No 8 Rupert Crossland was bundled over by his fellow forwards. Tom O’Toole added the extras and that turned out to be the only score of the half.
Bury emerged for the second half in clean shirts and what appeared a more determined mood.
Having been slightly subdued in the first half, they looked to stamp their authority on the match and quickly got on the scoreboard via the first of Lyle’s four penalties.
Although the game continued in its scrappy nature, the personnel changes made by Bury seemed to be taking effect.
A series of drives earned Bury a second penalty in the 12th minute and Lyle made no mistake from 30 metres, 7-6.
Pierre Peres, back at 9, made a trademark break from the foot of a scrum and linked well with Snelling to earn Bury another penalty.
This time however, Lyle’s kick came back off the post. Bury were beginning to turn the screw with the majority of the game now being played in the Barnes half.
Another solid Bury scrum set the backs away and it took a desperate scramble defence to keep them out.
However that desperation proved too much and Lyle deservedly put Bury ahead on 66 minutes with a well struck penalty.
At 9-7 Bury still had plenty of time left and the nervy home side wisely tried to push Barnes back via a series of long downfield kicks.
The tactic seemed to be working but over eagerness at a ruck allowed Barnes to escape via a penalty.
It earned them territory close to the Bury 22 and when the hosts were then surprisingly penalised at a scrum, the kick bisected the posts to push Barnes back in front.
It seemed a little harsh on Bury as they had been in charge for most of the half but had been met by a stubborn defence. Now Bury were against the clock and their attacks started to look a little frantic as they struggled to master the conditions and a fired-up visiting side.
Lyle had a chance to nick it, but his long range attempt went wide.
However he was not to be denied and his last act brought a thrilling finale to a game that struggled to entertain the brave souls watching.