Bury rugby: Page praises fans as Bury take big step towards promotion

GAINING GROUND: Matt Page thunders his way through a tackle
GAINING GROUND: Matt Page thunders his way through a tackle
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Bury St Edmunds 34

Eton Manor 16

Scurm-half Matt Page paid tribute to the home support for roaring them to victory as Bury’s title charge continued unabated on Saturday.

The Australian, who works at the club’s gym, put in a match-winning performance, picking out gaps in second-placed Eton Manor’s defensive line as Bury shot out of the blocks and rarely looked back in a pivotal game in the title race.

And with the club’s biggest crowd of the season, along with the December victory against neighbours Diss, in attendance (around 500), Page revealed they had played their part.

“The crowd always support us and we feel every buzz from their cheers,” he said after the bonus-point win. “We are really happy we get a really good crowd, especially for our home games.”

Bury were a converted try up within five minutes and led 20-9 at half-time, despite having less ball than their east London-based opponents.

But two home tries in a four-minute spell after the restart put any worries in the home crowd to bed, with a controversial penalty try reply all the visitors could muster.

“The early try put them on the backfoot and the momentum kept us going,” said Page. “A lot of planning and effort went into this game from the coaching staff and credit to the players for getting the job done.”

After only four minutes Will Martin, who did not miss a conversion kick all game, burst through and laid a perfect pass off for Chris Snelling to finish in the right-hand corner.

A successful Martin penalty kick was sandwiched between two from Eton Manor’s Alex Hunter before Martin was thankful to a kind rebound off the post for his next kick at goal to give the home side a 13-6 lead by the half-hour-mark.

Eton Manor were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, but could only claw a small dent in the lead through another Hunter penalty, which Bury replied to with a Ben Radmell converted try in a flowing breakaway for 20-9 at half-time.

With Bury having not lost at The Haberden since September 2011, they put the result to bed with two quick-fire converted tries after the restart. Radmell pushed over after strong forward play in the left-hand corner, while Kiwi Brenton Krammer had a clear straight line to make it under the posts after a clever pass from Page.

Bury had to show their defensive steel as Eton Manor penned them in their own half, but despite a penalty try being converted by Hunter after Matt Edison’s high tackle 20 minutes from time, Gavin Hogg’s side were able to see out the game with a comfortable 18-point winning margin.

Bury squad: Bell, Bixby, Gibson, Waters, Farmer, Blatch, Radmenll, Edison (c), Page, Krammer, Wiggins, Samoa, Cooke, Snelling, Martin, McLachlan, Davis, Eggers

Free Press man of the match: Matt Page . Will Martin gained the most ground and kicked to perfection, but Page was the orchestrator who conducted Bury to a big win.