Bury capitulate in the second half as lowly Wimbledon run out deserved victors
- Credit: Archant
Wimbledon 32 Bury St Edmunds 12
Bury’s travel woes continued as they slumped to defeat in South West London on Saturday, writes Simon Lord.
The Wolfpack’s cause was not helped by the late withdrawal of Will Scholes with flu and the league’s top try scorer Dwayne Corcoran hobbling off after just 20 minutes, but they can have no excuse as they put in an inept performance.
Ironically Bury got off to a flying start, scoring with virtually the first play of the game. A Wimbledon penalty at a line out allowed Honey to kick to five metres. The catch and drive clicked and Collen Smith saw swept over by his fellow forwards.
With persistent rain falling on a heavy pitch, it was never going to make for an open flowing spectacle, but Bury’s kicking game never really functioned and they found themselves defending for long periods of the match.
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Wimbledon tried to respond in kind to the Bury try but some last ditch defending held them out but it also saw Yas Browne taken from the field after a worrying looking injury. All too often Bury managed to undo the good defensive work by the concession of a penalty at a scrum or breakdown. A needless penalty for kicking the ball out of a ruck allowed Fly Half James Doe to reduce arrears with a simple penalty.
The successful kick prompted a good response from Bury and with just a snippet of possession they showed what they are capable of with a well taken try. The re start was won, the ball was recycled half a dozen times before Kohler managed to break through, Enzo Comin was up in good support and when he looked to his left the backs were queuing up to score…Boyd Rouse given the easy opportunity. Honey’s conversion out of the mud pushed Bury out to a 12 – 3 lead.
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It was a flattering lead and Wimbledon deservedly made the scores closer at Half Time. A fumble by Bury at the re start gave The Wombles an attacking scrum in good field position. Centre Charlie Esam broke through the midfield before deftly kicking the ball right for winger Dan Charles to race onto and touch down.
The conditions were only ever to get worse and having defended for large swathes of the first half, Bury needed to try and assert a level of control in the match if they were ensure victory.
What happened was almost the complete opposite! Within seconds Wimbledon had taken the lead, a lead that was never to be relinquished. Wimbledon returned a poor clearance kick with interest and with Bury dropping off a couple of tackles all too easily; Dylan Flashman was able to power his way over close to the posts.
For the next 35 minutes it was painful viewing for the healthy number of supporters who had made the trip down to London… Once again a silly penalty at a ruck gave the hosts a chance to go for the line. Only a knock on, prevented Flashman adding to his score, when he dropped the ball with the line at his mercy.
Bury’s relief did not last long. The Wombles pack shunted Bury off their own ball and No 8 Dan Laventure gleefully dropped down on the ball. With Doe’s fine conversion from the touchline, Wimbledon led 20 – 12 after just 15 minutes of the half.
Relegation threatened Wimbledon were now clearly pumped up and Bury could not seem to summon the fight to hold a now rampant pack. Bury were constantly on the back foot and as and when they did get their hands on the ball they were met with a stubborn line of defence.
A penalty try was awarded as once again The Claret and Blue pack marched the disintegrating Wolfpack backwards towards the line. With Beale’s shown yellow it merely added salt to the wound.
Another score followed, Laventure adding to his tally after Bury had lost the ball in contact. There was one late final rally but it was all too little and too late before the referee finally put Bury out of their misery.