Will Affleck’s moment of magic wins game for Bury

Matt Hema scores the vital try at the end of the match

Matt Hema scores the vital try at the end of the match - Credit: Archant

National League 2 South Bury St Edmunds 17 Dorking 13 A moment of magic by Will Affleck snatched the game for Bury in dramatic circumstances.

Having dominated possession it looked like Bury would fall to a classic smash and grab from the visitors when scrum-half George Jackson landed an impudent drop goal on 73 minutes to edge Dorking 13-10 ahead.

However Bury refused to lie down and scored a glorious try to deservedly win the match.

Bury No 8 Matt Edison’s rampaging run finally got Bury behind the stubborn Dorking defence but the move looked to have faltered when Marshall’s pass to Affleck landed at the fly-half’s feet.

However, Affleck, in one movement, somehow caught the ball and off-loaded to the supporting Matt Hema to send the Kiwi slicing through the cover and in for the match-winning try.


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To be fair it was no more than Bury deserved.

A dominant scrum laid the platform but Bury laboured to break down a determined Dorking side who, with Pimlow at 10, always threatened to break out and punish a wasteful Bury side.

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The home side wasted four gilt-edged chances in the opening period with only a Scott Lyle penalty to show for their efforts.

Scant reward and this was highlighted even further when on 25 minutes, and in their first meaningful venture into the Bury half, Dorking scored.

Scrum-half Jackson, aware he had a penalty advantage, deliberately dropped the ball down to claim the penalty, took it himself and darted in under the posts before most people could react.

Noble made no mistake with the conversion and then moments later landed a well struck penalty to push the visitors 10-3 up.

Bury went back on the attack but once again it looked like nothing would come of it.

Finally, on the cusp of half-time, Bury restored parity.

Lyle made use of an overlap to glide over and converted from wide out to send the sides in locked at 10 points apiece.

The second half continued in similar vein to the first, in fact, if anything, Bury dominated even more.

Dorking’s defence, especially at the break down, was superb, but they were aided and abetted by Bury’s lateral attacks.

The visitors merely fanned out in defence, tackled like demons and induced frustration amongst the home faithful.

Bury tried to turn the screw at scrum time but No 8 Harry Watts, on more than one occasion, managed to somehow get the ball away from a retreating pack and then the boot of Noble cleared the lines.

Beau Gibson and Tim Mann entered the fray for the home side but even they struggled to make an impact as Bury’s attacks were becoming increasingly desperate.

Dorking could sense the chance of an upset and they enjoyed their best spell of the match.

Edison was imperious in the line out and he twice stole the ball to thwart attacking Dorking positions.

However, the ultimate act of burglary looked to have happened when, with just seven minutes to go, Jackson again reacted quickly to a penalty advantage.

This time the scrum-half fired off a low scudding drop goal that sneaked over the bar and between the uprights.

Heartbreak for the home side and one once again felt Bury had missed out as they had done against Redruth, Old Elts and then Southend last week.

However, just when it looked like Dorking had stolen the win, Affleck’s antics to send Hema over led to joyous celebrations.

Tensions then ran high for the last minute or so, with two unseemly scuffles putting a dampener on what had been an enjoyable contest.

But Bury got the early Christmas present they were looking for and can travel to league leaders Cambridge next week in good heart.

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