Hogg disappointed as Bury let the initiative slip

ON THE ATTACK: Player-coach Gavin Hogg looks to continue the attack against Colchester. Picture by Mecha Morton
ON THE ATTACK: Player-coach Gavin Hogg looks to continue the attack against Colchester. Picture by Mecha Morton
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Bury St Edmunds 15 Colchester 29

by Sam Murley at the Haberden

BURY player-coach Gavin Hogg was left disappointed after his side’s 29-15 defeat to promotion rivals Colchester at the Haberden on Saturday.

Bury twice took the lead with early tries in either half through Nick Flexman and Anthony Fox, but could not take advantage of promising positions as the visitors seized control, adding a penalty to two late tries to claim the points.

The hosts also lost Brentan Krammer to injury early in the second period, but despite a number of missed penalties and conversions, Hogg refused to use the loss of his number 10 as an excuse, as he reflected on a poor afternoon.

“We were extremely disappointed not to be able to get close to our performance from the opening game,” he said.

“When we scored the early try we didn’t get hold of the ball long enough and it just seemed like we were defending for a lot of the game, which took its toll towards the end.

“With Brentan going off, we lost a bit of structure and sometimes limited us to what we could do, but we will not be using that as an excuse.

“We were second best and we will hold our hands up to that.”

Bury started brightly and were soon ahead as Flexman went over in the corner, finishing off an incisive passing move in the opening minutes.

The visitors had the chance to cut the deficit, but Chris Withers’ penalty attempt struck the outside of the post.

However, they were soon ahead as Damo Brambley eventually finished off a passing move following a strong break through the field from scrum-half Brett Cutbush in the 33rd minute.

Withers converted the resulting conversion to give Colchester a 7-5 lead going into half-time.

However, as they did in the opening minutes, Bury scored a quick-fire try.

The impressive Barry Frost evaded a number of tackles before off-loading to Fox, who had space to dive over in the left corner as the home side regained the lead.

With Krammer off injured, scrum half Matt Briggs took over conversion duty, but could not accept the opportunity, to leave Bury with a slender 10-7 lead.

It would not last long, as 12 minutes later, Colchester were back in front. From the scrum, Withers managed to find Calum Irvine, who skipped through two challenges to score under the posts. Withers scored the simple conversion to make it 14-10.

In the 65th minute it became 21-10 as Irvine again caused havoc, breaking through the middle of the field to pass on to Brambley, who raced unopposed to the corner to score his second try of the match.

With nine minutes remaining, Bury gave themselves a glimmer of hope as Kenny Eggers broke through a crowd of players to force his way over the line. However, Briggs again was unable to take advantage from the conversion as Colchester held a six-point lead.

Withers added a penalty for the visitors before Gareth Jones forced the ball over the line, for another try, on the final whistle, as Bury suffered their first defeat of the season.

Bury: Bell, Cornell, Perez, Sanchez, Walker, Davis, Fox, Kearney, Briggs, Krammer, Hogg, Eggers, Flexman, J Flexman, Frost. Subs: Winter, Lamont.