Bury rugby claim title in style but Needham Market’s championship to go to last day
Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club will be playing in National League Two next season after a 61-10 win over Gravesend secured the title in emphatic fashion.
In front of a crowd estimated at just under 1,500 at the Haberden, Gavin Hogg’s side just had to ensure they won to finish above Barnes in National League Three London and South East.
But they gave their supporters a real show to get the party started early, running in 11 tries in a display of champagne rugby on their way to a comfortable victory.
Fireworks were let off on the pitch and the bubbly was flowing after captain Chris Snelling was presented with the championship shield.
Those scenes were not able to be replicated over at Needham Market in the football however, with a last minute leveller from second-placed Harlow Town seeing their champagne put on ice.
The Marketmen, also in front of a bumper crowd over at Bloomfields, had taken a 2-0 lead into the break courtesy of a double from Sam Newson, but Craig Pope’s late goal, for 2-2, ensured the Ryman League Division One North title will go down to the final weekend.
Already relegated Bury Town lost 1-0 at Hampton and Richmond Borough to end their good run following back-to-back victories.
In the Thurlow Nunn League, Thetford Town won 2-0 away at Hadleigh United and Mildenhall Town drew 1-1 at Haverhill Rovers in the Premier Division.
In the First Division, Team Bury won 2-0 at home to Leiston Reserves, while Stowmarket Town were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline at King’s Lynn Town Reserves.
In The Skybet Championship Norwich City saw their automatic promotion hopes dented on Friday with a 1-0 home defeat to fellow Premier League hopefuls Middlesbrough after an early Alex Tettey own goal.
Ipswich Town kept in the top six with a point at Mick McCarthy’s former club, Wolverhampton Wnaderers in Saturday’s early game, with Benik Afobe equalising a Richard Stearman own goal shortly after the break.
* For a video of Bury St Edmunds celebrating promotion, log on to this website on Monday morning.