Bury challenged to bounce back from big loss

REACTION DEMANDED: Bury head coach Gavin Hogg wants his side to recover from their loss last time out
REACTION DEMANDED: Bury head coach Gavin Hogg wants his side to recover from their loss last time out

NATIONAL LEAGUE

TWO SOUTH

Bishop’s Stortford 36

Bury St Edmunds 7

Gavin Hogg is looking for a reaction from his Bury St Edmunds players when they host Worthing Raiders tomorrow (3pm).

The Wolfpack slipped to their first defeat of the new season last weekend when they went down 36-7 to title favourites Bishop’s Stortford.

And ahead of returning to action at the Haberden this weekend, Bury’s director of rugby is targeting a more positive result.

“It was a really disappointing day at the office,” he admitted. “It showed us where we need to get to if we want to be challenging at the top end of the table.

“We need to be more consistent. We found that out against the top sides you can’t afford to be off your game in any area of the pitch.

“We’re very focused in the areas which we need to get right. We’re very hopeful we can do that and we can get a reaction from the boys this weekend.”

If anyone was in doubt as to the standard required to play at the top of National League Two South then it was evident at Silver Leys on Saturday, as Bishop’s Stortford ran out comfortable winners.

The opening score of the match after just 12 minutes almost typified the day.

Bury turned the ball over from a wayward Stortford line out, however Liam McBride’s laboured kick down field was charged down, prop Seb Brownhill roared for the line and although dragged down short, there was to be no stopping Chris Aldam from just two metres, with Tom Banks adding the extras.

McBride had the chance to reduce arrears on 24 minutes but his penalty attempt slipped agonisingly wide.

Stortford extended their lead not long after Bury’s penalty miss when lock forward Matt Tomlinson broke through a couple of tackles to crash over by the sticks.

Banks added a penalty for the home side following a Bury scrum infringement, while McBride saw his second attempt slide wide after Sean Stapleton’s fine charge had set up a penalty.

Pressure and numbers told early in the second-half after several waves of attacks when Brownhill was bundled over in the corner.

A long thirty minutes awaited for Bury as they now trailed 22-0 and down a man after Cai Griffiths’ offence.

Banks, arguably the stand-out performer on the park, spotted a gap in the Bury defence, jinked his way through and then had the power to hold off two would be tacklers to dot down by the sticks. After dusting himself down, he added the extras.

Michael Mellet got Bury on the scoresheet, with the converted try adding some degree of respectability.

But Sam Winter gathered his own kick to score for the hosts and complete a resounding 36-7 win.