BURY completed an incredible run to the end of the season by clinching rugby’s Suffolk Cup with their 11th consecutive win.
Opponents Colchester, who are invited into the competition each season, were no match for a stunning second-half display by Bury under the lights at The Haberden on Wednesday evening.
Gavin Hogg’s charges missed out on the London One promotion play-off with a 25-point deduction due to an administration error, but picking up some silverware went some way to easing Bury’s pain.
Head coach Hogg said: “It was a fantastic finish to an excellent run.
“It’s been three or four years since the club has lifted the Suffolk Cup and it’s always nice to have some physical evidence to show for the hard work put in during the season.”
Hogg, who lost in the final to Colchester when in charge of Stowmarket last campaign, added: “It was nice for me to add it to my personal CV, but the players were fantastic and should take all the credit.”
Some promising youngsters took to the field for both sides, but while Bury were close to full strength, Colchester were missing some key personnel.
After conceding an early try, Bury hit back with a converted score to take the lead when Tim Mann made a trademark breakaway and Matt Eddison was on hand to dance his way over after the ball had been recycled.
Will Martin added a penalty to his conversion before touching down himself, benefiting from a romping run by Jake Thurlow.
Colchester responded well to falling 17-5 behind and by the time the referee’s whistle shrilled for the break the visitors were back on level terms at 17-17.
The second half continued at a furious pace, but once Bury got their noses back in front they never looked in danger again.
The vital first score of the second period came from young winger Ricky Jones, with Martin’s conversion making it 24-17.
Harry Gooderham and flank forward Eddison added to the score before Mann piled more misery on Colchester by picking up a misplaced pass to race home from fully 65 metres.
Gooderham later hobbled off with an Achilles injury and may miss participating in the National Under-19s Sevens Cup with team-mate Chris Lord for Eastern Counties Under-19s –
Warren Kearney, who is moving to Scotland next season, was a popular final try scorer, allowing Martin to complete a clean sweep of conversions.
Although Colchester pulled another score back, Bury held on to lift the trophy with a 52-24 win over their London One North rivals.
Speaking about Kearney’s departure, Hogg said: “It was great to see him end the season on a high because he’s played nearly every single minute of the campaign – we wish him all the best.”