Mark Kohler scores 79th-minute try to earn Bury St Edmunds a dramatic 35-31 win at Old Redcliffians
A 79th-minute try by Mark Kohler earned Bury St Edmunds a dramatic 35-31 win at Old Redcliffians in National League Two South on Saturday.
The Wolfpack, who trailed 21-7 at one point, looked to be heading for a third straight defeat when Old Reds led 31-28 heading into the final minutes.
But Kohler dived over under the posts a minute from time to secure the win, a result which moved Jon Curry's men up to ninth in the table.
Bury kicked off in Bristol playing up the slope and against the strong, and occasionally gale force, wind.
Within two minutes they were 7-0 down, Old Reds having scored from a line out with the ball making its way to Kieran Hill, who danced his way through the Bury defence to dive under the sticks, and then convert his own try.
Straight from the restart, the hosts received the ball in their 22, but their kick to clear was charged down by Bury number 10 Nick Perez, who scooped up the ball to score, with the conversion being kicked by Cam Ritchie to make it honours even.
A breathless start continued, as Bury conceded a penalty which was kicked into the corner by their opponents.
Old Reds caught and drove and their hooker Kieran Ward peeled off the back of the maul to score, with Hill converting to put the hosts 14-7 up with only nine minutes on the clock.
Hill then converted an Ethan Joyce try to put Old Reds 21-7 up, before the Wolfpack responded again when Mikey Graham crashed over to score, and Ritchie converted.
Old Reds scrum half Kiyan Wiltshire was sent to the sin bin for a stamp on Bury captain Yasmin Browne, however, another period of pressure from the home side after half an hour resulted in a penalty try to earn them a try bonus point.
Just before half time, Ritchie broke down the left and was pursued by three Old Reds players and, despite their attention, managed a beautiful offload which reached Finlay Sharpe, who scored under the posts. Ritchie converted the try to leave Bury trailing 28-21 at half time.
The Wolfpack drew level on 50 minutes when Old Reds were penalised for being offside and Graham scored in the corner from the subsequent line out.
Ritchie converted with an astonishing kick from the touchline, with the wind whipping across the pitch as strong as ever.
On 73 minutes, Old Reds broke down the left side, but a try saving tackle from Kohler stopped their number 14 in his tracks.
With four minutes to go, Bury conceded a penalty on their 22 and fly half hill kicked over to give the home side a 31-28 lead.
There was more drama to follow with Old Reds conceding a penalty for a high tackle, which was kicked into their corner.
Bury battered the Old Reds line from the line out and their control and patience paid off when the defending side were sucked in to defend, leaving four or five Bury players lined out to the right waiting to score.
But it was Kohler who dived over under the posts to secure the win, the following conversion being good as the Wolfpack picked up a hard-fought bonus point win.