SSE NATIONAL LEAGUE THREE LONDON AND SOUTH EAST: Bury St Edmunds 15 Tring 20: Gavin Hogg was left to bemoan his lacklustre Bury St Edmunds squad following a disappointing defeat to visiting Tring on Saturday.
In their return to action since the New Year, due to last week’s postponed encounter at Thurrock, Bury’s lack of match practice was clearly evident as they struggled throughout to get a grip on proceedings, with a late try from the visitors finally settling what was a finely poised match.
A clearly-disappointed Hogg conceded Bury did not do enough to claim victory and urged his squad to regain form ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Basingstoke and kick-start another winning run.
“It certainly looked as though it was our first game back after Christmas because the energy levels just were not there,” he said. “Tring looked slightly more switched on and it was a game we were very disappointed to lose.
“We hold our hands up and have to admit we didn’t deserve to win the match.
“We didn’t have enough possession in their half and they put us under a lot of pressure and it always felt like there was going to be score from them coming.
“It is definitely disappointing because we went down there at the beginning of the season and got a very good win and kicked on, so there is a lot of work to be done.
“There are lessons to be learned and we will pick ourselves up and go again.
“Hopefully we can go on another run.”
Somewhat against the run of play, Tring opened the scoring in the sixth minute as Will Mitchell successfully struck a simple penalty over from in front of the posts.
Mitchell was then unfortunate to see a second penalty strike the outside of the post from a tight angle before a lull in action proceeded.
The home side enjoyed a period of dominance for the majority of the remainder of the half, but a mixture of misplaced passes and stout Tring defending continued to see Bury frustrated as promising passages of play came to nothing on a number of occasions.
However, that changed with six minutes of the first period remaining as Casey Stone managed to break clear of the pack for the first time and raced away to crash over.
Codey Mason could not capitalise from a simple-looking conversion as the score stood at 5-3.
Mason’s poor kicking persisted as another penalty miss saw Bury fail to extend their advantage as the hosts held the slender lead going into the interval.
In complete contrast to the first period, Bury started the second half in blistering fashion as a decisive missed interception in the middle saw Stone capitalise to sprint clear of the pack and score between the posts. This time Mason successfully added the extras to extend the hosts lead to 12-3.
Back came Tring, who responded superbly just five minutes later as a wave of pressure on the Bury line resulted in a penalty try being awarded, but Tom Newton failed to add the extras from the conversion, leaving the score at 12-8.
The momentum had swung in favour of the visitors and, after a period of being camped in the Bury half, the pressure finally told in the 66th minute as a quick exchange of passes opened a gap for Richard Roberts to score, gifting Tring the lead once more.
In what proved a drama-fuelled final 20 minutes, the home side took back the lead with 12 minutes remaining as replacement Jesse Rush struck a well-placed 30-yard penalty between the posts to put Hogg’s side 15-13 ahead.
However, the visitors refused to concede the match and, with just three minutes remaining, they scored what proved the decisive final try of the match.
With Bury desperately trying to keep a rigid defensive line, Louis Michalski evaded a tackle to race clear and crash over between the posts.
Newton was left the simple conversion to wrap up proceedings for Tring.