LONDON ONE NORTH
Bury St Edmunds 18 Diss 9
Gavin Hogg revealed the disappointment in the dressing room despite Bury signing off for the Christmas break with a victory over rivals Diss.
Their A143 neighbours had been given next to no chance ahead of kick-off on Saturday, following a 50-6 thrashing in the reverse fixture at Mackenders back in September and with Bury looking to clock up their 25th consecutive win, stretching back to early January.
But despite an afternoon where Bury never really got going, with Diss claiming victory in frustrating them, the league leaders won the game with two runs from leading try scorer Kenny Eggars in a clinical six-minute spell in the second half.
“The guys in the changing room are very disappointed with how they performed but that is what Tuesday and Thursday nights are for and we are very happy to get to the Christmas break unbeaten and in the position we wanted to be in,” said Hogg, whose side took a slender 6-3 lead into the break before the game turned in Diss’ favour with a 9-6 lead being wiped out by Eggars’ brace.
“The key word is ‘frustration’, you could see in the second half our guys were getting frustrated as we were not accurate in what we were trying to execute.
“Once you get frustrated you lose your discipline and you make a lot of mistakes and give away a lot of penalties and it is a hard old circle to break out of.
“It is something we have to work on; imposing ourselves and our gameplan on the game for longer periods of time.”
After Brenton Krammer kicked Bury into the lead as early as the third minute, for diving in at the ruck, Diss, on a four-game winning run themselves, soon let their hosts know they had not turned up to be rolled over.
A war of attrition, with the heat of battle boiling over on a few occasions with the referee having to intervene, soon developed with some hard first-up tackles and space at a premium.
Fraser Hall was sent to the sin bin after tripping Ben Radmell but Bury couldn’t take advantage of the extra man and it was Diss who levelled at 3-3 when Pete Bray pierced the defensive line and Beaird kicked over a resulting penalty from 25 metres out.
An offside infringement saw Krammer restore Bury’s three-point advantage for a narrow 6-3 half-time lead.
If anyone thought it was the start of Bury’s usual saunter to the winning line though, they were wrong as Beaird kicked two tricky penalties successfully, the second for a trip on the full-back which saw Harry Gooderham given a yellow card, for a shock 9-6 lead.
But Bury’s frustration, with their lineout as wobbly as it has been this season, didn’t allow their opponents to put further distance on the board and Diss’ lead only lasted eight minutes, with Eggars starting and finishing a swift move down the right, Krammer adding the extras.
With 74 minutes on the clock Bury put the result beyond any doubt when Eggars ran in down the centre from the 22 metre line after receiving Matt Page’s offload to exploit a lazy line, his 18th try of the campaign, with Krammer’s kick rebounding off the post.
Bury starting XV: Bell, C Birrell, McLachlen, Farmer, Waters, Bixby, Radmell, Edison (c), Page, Krammer, Snelling, Eggers, Cooke, Gouldie, Harrison. Replacements: Cracknell, Lagudi, Gooderham.
Free Press man of the match: Kenny Eggars.