Browne celebrates Eastern Counties try in victory at his home ground
Bury St Edmunds’ Yasin Browne was among the try scorers on his home ground as Eastern Counties finished their season with a bonus-point victory over Northumberland.
Eastern Counties were made to work all the way for the victory at the GK IPA Haberden on Saturday, eventually prevailing 28-27.
The visitors opened the scoring through James Bird, who converted his own touchdown.
Counties struck back through the outstanding Matt Hema – converted by captain Ben Penfold – but had to play catch up again as Alex Clark notched Northumberland’s second, Bird again successful with the extras.
A superb score from Chris Kolopo after excellent interplay from Finn Creighton, Penfold, Hema and Cameron Greenhall, converted by the Cambridge fly-half, saw parity again.
The visitors went in ahead at the break though after skipper Keith Laughlin crashed over.
Creighton regained Counties’ lead early in the second half with Bury’s versatile forward Browne, playing in the second row with team-mate Will Scholes unavailable) adding the bonus point try. Penfold added the extras for both. And in between, Bird landed three more points off the tee.
Thereafter, it was trench warfare interspersed with cavalry charges, with both sides looking to gain ground but being rebuffed by rock-like defence in displays that belied the tough club seasons put in by the players.
Penfold’s 69th minute penalty from distance went awry, and Northumberland finished the stronger, touching down in the corner through Ed Bloodworth with two minutes left.
Bird, though,contrived to shank the conversion and the visitors were beaten by a point.
Bury’s departing player Sam Bixby, who is returning to former club Sudbury due to increased work commitments, also started the match while the Wolfpack’s Sean Davies, Joe Winter and Jack Johnson all started on the replacements bench.
l Bury’s Corey Button also scored a try on his home ground as Eastern Counties Wanderers (2nd XV) finished on a high with a 31-22 win over Northumberland Centurions.
Thetford’s full-back Ryan Gardiner also got the ball down over the line while club team-mate Josh Clark started in the number 13 shirt.
Stowmarket Rugby Club were represented in the side by Brad James and Dotun Ogunkeyede.
Northumberland opened the scoring with a penalty before the Wanderers got on the scoreboard with a try from winger Chris Collins Read, one of three conversions for Bury’s Button.
Two ties from Chris Blom and an individual effort by Button were matched by Northumberland with two tries of their own for 21-15 at the interval.
Gardiner then stretched EC’s lead before the next breakthrough, a superb solo run from Chris Baird. The visitors ended with a third try.