LONDON ONE NORTH
Thurrock 27 Bury 15
DESPITE a spirited display, Bury could not quite upset the form guide as they suffered a 27-15 defeat away to table-toppers Thurrock.
The hosts seized control early, opening the scoring as their forwards powered their way over from close range following Stanley’s break away.
Bury responded as Martin successfully scored a penalty before taking advantage of their numerical advantage following Thurrock’s second row receiving a second yellow, to score another penalty.
Having reduced the margin to a single point, Bury could only watch on as Neale landed a well-struck penalty to extend the hosts advantage to 10-6.
However, Martin’s accuracy from penalties again brought rewards as he added his third and fourth successful kicks which saw Bury head for the tunnel deservedly ahead 12-10.
However the lead did not last long as in the opening moments of the second half, a combination of good handling by Thurrock and poor tackling by the visitors allowed the Pink and Black’s winger to scrape over wide out.
Neale pushed a penalty wide but another Bury indiscretion saw Norry sent to the bin and Thurrock kick to the corner. A secure lineout catch made, Thurrock’s number eight rumbled past Bury’s number seven for a score in the corner.
To Bury’s credit, playing a man down, they stepped up to the mark. Left wing Joe Flexman received the ball in space and made good ground before the quickly recycled ball was hampered by midfield offside. Martin landed a crucial penalty and, with 15 minutes still on the clock, the difference was now only one score.
Sadly for Bury, their Achilles heel, the lineout, cost them the chance to perhaps seriously threaten that record.
On a couple of occasions, Bury worked hard to gain a turnover or earn a penalty.
The chance to clear their lines or gain significant ground was undone when the lineout was lost. The game entered its closing minutes with Bury trapped deep in their own half.
To their credit they continued to throw the ball about and managed to get towards half way. The ball was sent left but a speculative chip through went straight into the arms of Stanley, who astutely kicked back over the committed Bury attack.
Krammer raced back but could only watch in horror as the ball bounced kindly back towards the onrushing Thurrock right wing to waltz in under the posts for a rather fortuitous try. A hammer blow to Bury and victory to Thurrock.
The conversion was the last act of the game and the home side’s response showed just how hard they had been pushed.