DIVISION TWO SOUTH
Southend Saxons 15
Bury St Edmunds 27
Bury St Edmunds secured their place in National League Division Two South for next season with a scrappy 27-15 win over Southend Saxons.
This was not Bury’s finest performance, but sometimes it is about results and Gavin Hogg’s men gained the five points they so desperately cherished to make a season of hard work so worthwhile.
Within 10 minutes Bury had registered their first score. A penalty had allowed the Bury forwards the chance to catch and drive 15 metres and when the ball was spread wide Chris Lord had the easy option of putting Matt Hema in for the score.
Bury’s early confidence was quickly brought back down to earth when Southend scored their first try. There was more than a suspicion of obstruction on two occasions in the build up to Sonny Gay squeezing over in the corner, but referee Alexis Manly deemed the try worthy and Brad Burr’s superb touchline conversion edged Southend ahead.
Bury declined a very kickable penalty to go for a scrum and the option proved correct, when Sean Stapleton bundled his way over from close range.
Scott Lyle added the extras to make it 12–7 and a lead that Bury were never to surrender.
Burr knocked over a penalty to close the gap but Bury, despite being a little laboured and predictable in their attacks, pushed the score out to 19-10, as number eight Fijian Maku made some hard yards down the middle of the park as Bury switched their point of attack freeing up Sam Sterling to take a fine inside pass from Lord to saunter over.
Bury looked to be in complete control but on the stroke of half-time conceded their second try to throw the contest wide open again.
Scott Lyle then scored a penalty to make it 22–15 to the visitors, before a well organised catch and drive allowed Maku to score a try.