Bury St Edmunds 34
Amersham and Chiltern 5
Shaq Meyers is confident Bury St Edmunds have put their sticky patch behind them as they look to hone in on automatic promotion.
Despite missing suspended trio Kivalu, Black and Pask, the Wolves showed a steely and ruthless determination to leave no stone unturned as they hunted out their first victory of 2015 at the first attempt against 10th placed Amersham and Chiltern.
The contest was effectively over between Meyers, filling in as a makeshift second row, scoring his second try in a nine-minute spell from four minutes after the restart, with a 27-0 advantage soon becoming 32-0 after completing his quick-fire brace.
With London Irish Wild Geese missing out on a bonus point in a 19-12 home win over Gravesend, it ensured Bury narrowed the gap from five to four points with other results coupled with their bonus point moving them two places up to second in the table.
Saturday’s emphatic win at a boggy Haberden ensured back-to-back victories, with Meyers — a former Bedford Blues academy player of the year (2012/13) signed from National League Two outfit Ampthill over the summer — happy to put the worrying run of three defeats in their last four going into the fixture firmly to the back of his mind.
“It is definitely something we have been working on in training and hopefully we have managed to squish it now,” said the former Diss youth player and St Joseph’s College national Daily Mail Cup semi-finalist. “We have great management around us that are going to help us push forward and look towards our main goal (promotion).
“I think it was a bit of a bad spell, all great teams have bad spells and I think it was just one of those hurdles we had to get over to hopefully achieve our success.”
Despite playing in his third position since joining the club, the traditional centre (12) shone out of position, to make it an even more pleasing day on a personal note, with his two tries sealing the result.
“Yes, it was good, especially with the first one with the forwards coming round the corner and playing the phases, keeping the ball moving.
“We were getting over the gain line every time, which proved to be quite successful.”
Of the second, a fine solo effort down the right-hand side, the 21-year-old said: “I managed to get myself into a bit of space, which suits my game, and thankfully I managed to get some footwork going and ran down the side.”
Meyers had big boots to fill having been moved into Keiran Black’s back row shirt, but was soon helping Bury’s pack demonstrate a clear advantage at the breakdown.
A penalty kick from the boot of Micheal Sage put them ahead before two missed kicks up the other end let them off the hook ahead of the hosts taking advantage of a numerical advantage after a yellow card, with Sage touching down the first try, following a tap penalty, 27 minutes in.
It took only six minutes to add another, when Sage again saw his conversion kick fall short.
Sage added his second on the stroke of half-time after a fantastic jinking run from Tristan Rawcliffe created the space, with the extras this time added, to leave Bury cruising at 27-0.
The Buckinghamshire visitors had halted nine straight defeats ahead of the festive break, but had next to no chance of registering successive victories after Meyers dived over the line after Beau Gibson had driven forward before passing through Scott Lewis.
It was quickly added to with a fine right-wing solo effort, which almost saw Meyers thrown into touch, with Sage’s tricky conversion unlucky to go so close without reward, bouncing back off the far post.
Amersham deservedly got on the scoreboard with an unconverted try of their own, from Sam Portland, but it was only the most minor blot on Bury’s copybook.
Senior playing chairman Terry Sands could not hide his delight at the clinical display and reserved special praise for man-of-the-match Meyers.
“He has just been a real stalwart for us and I can’t give him enough credit,” he said. “In this league, with three subs, you need versatility and he has given us that.”
Bury St Edmunds: Adams, Gibson, Cooper, Stevenson-Leigh, Bretag-Norris, Bixby, Meyers, Edison, Lewis, Rush, Solomon, Mann, Rawcliffe, Snelling (c), Sage. Replacements: Haward, Bragoli-Jones, Bellamy.