DIVISION TWO SOUTH
Bury St Edmunds 35
Bury took a large stride towards avoiding relegation with a stirring comeback at The Haberden.
In a pulsating game that saw nine tries scored, Bury ultimately ran out worthy winners but it hadn't looked that way early on when tries from Givens, Cornish and Holmes had put Barnes 21-3 up after just 20 minutes.
Traffic problems had meant a delayed kick-off, but Barnes showed no ill effects, bursting out of the blocks to rock Bury with three well-taken tries.
A clearly stunned Bury side struggled initially to get back into the game.
However, the Wolfpack proved just too strong for their opponents and they sealed the game with a pushover try in the dying minutes to underline their authority.
Flanker Sean Stapleton will grab the headlines with his two tries and barnstorming performance, but Dan Collins and new signing Maku Koroiyadi also caught the eye for the hosts.
Bury had the edge up front all day, but they constantly had to be on their mettle against a fine counter-attacking team who possess arguably one of the league’s finest back lines.
After Stapleton had been driven over by the pack to bring it back to 21-10, Matt Hema crucially scored Bury's second just before the break to bring Bury within four points of the visitors, his arcing run proved unstoppable from 30 metres.
Having finished the half on a high, Bury dominated the second period.
There is a belief and confidence about the players earned from two recent fine wins and it seemed momentum had swung the home side’s way.
Once again, the crowd played their part, urging the team on and Pierre Peres quickly edged Bury ahead with a well-taken try, the scrum half scampered over after again a strong forward drive.
The Haberden faithful are often treated to Bury playing exciting expansive Rugby, but having been rocked by the visitors early on, the decision was made to play to their strengths and that was certainly up front.
Stapleton was powered over by a now dominant pack for his second try after yet another well organised line out catch and drive.
The three-quarters, while not grabbing the limelight, were working equally as hard to contain the lively Barnes back three.
And when Barnes did drag the score back to 27-26, it was they who set up the opportunity for the forwards to seal the match.
Relentless pressure earned Bury a penalty 10 metres out at which they elected to take a scrum.
The Fijian No 8, Koroiyadi, capped his debut by steering the pack over the line to dot the ball down.
Bury now have a rest week before facing the Cornish All Blacks.