SSE NATIONAL THREE LONDON AND SOUTH EAST: Bury St Edmunds 37 Barnes 16: An incredible storm in the closing minutes did little to dampen Bury’s delight at recording their fourth victory from their last five games.
Barnes had probably targeted Bury as a game they needed to win in their quest to avoid relegation.
In this tough league of only 16 clubs, it seems almost unfair three sides will be demoted come May and Barnes arrived at The Greene King IPA Haberden knowing time was running out if they are to escape the drop.
Unfortunately for them, Bury were in no mood to surrender and the win retained the hosts’ fifth place, a position at the top of the mid-table pack.
Bury were clearly buoyed by their win on the road last week and, backed by a good home crowd, they kicked on in the second half for a deserved victory.
The opening minutes were characterised by Barnes full-back Daniel Wilde hitting the post with a penalty and Bury’s Joe Davies and Sean Davies clashing heads.
A period of scrappy play ended on 14 minutes when Dan Garrard collected a poor kick out of defence, chipped the ball back over the Barnes defence and won the race to his own kick.
Charlie Pask converted and Bury were seven points to the good.
Barnes responded with a penalty thanks to Wilde’s penalty and – as the half wore on – Bury began to turn on the style.
A sumptuous try was scored by virtue of Bury looking after the ball superbly through several phases before releasing Jamie Cooke, who weaved his way through the first line of defence and powered through the second from 25 metres.
The try seemed to galvanise Bury and another score seemed only a matter of time.
Wilde and Pask exchanged penalties before the break, leaving the score at 15-6 in Bury’s favour, while Ben Radmall was sent to the sinbin on 40 minutes for a culmination of offences.
Scrum-half Codey Mason continued with the fine form he showed last week and he was orchestrating his forwards well, putting them into holes and driving them on.
He created the next try for Pask, who still needed a shimmy, a dummy and a burst of speed before touching down behind the posts.
His conversion took Bury 22-6 clear – an advantage stretched further when Codey Gray rumbled over close to the corner for an unconverted try.
Despite the loss of skipper Matt Edison with a shoulder injury, Bury were rampant and Gray cut a superb angle from a well-weighted Jesse Rush pass to power to the line.
Jo Davis’ exceptional work-rate was rewarded when he was on hand to dive over from the resulting ruck and Pask converted to make it 34-6 on the hour-mark.
Pask took his personal tally to 17 points with another successful penalty, but Barnes finished strongly with two unconverted tries by Richard Matthews and Matthew Johnson.