Bury St Edmunds banish opening day blues with eight-try demolition of newly-promoted Westcliff at the Greene King IPA Haberden
Those at a sun-soaked GK IPA Haberden on Saturday saw Bury St Edmunds banish their opening day defeat with an eight-try demolition of newly-promoted Westcliff, writes Simon Lord.
Bury were far from at their best in this 53-17 victory in National League 2 South, but it was enough to see off a side who, despite plenty of possession, lacked a cutting edge.
The defence, which had been so porous the previous week at Old Albanians, was much improved.
Bury got off to a dream start following Ben Leng’s charging run being halted only by a high tackle. The penalty ball was kicked to the corner and the resulting catch-and-drive was well organised to power hooker Walshe over.
Bury added to their tally six minutes later. In almost a carbon copy of the first score, the Wolfpack drove for the line before Matt Bursey spun off the side to dive over.
Bannister and Leng exchanged penalties but then there was a lull in the scoring. Westcliff’s attacks were met by stern resistance, often resulting in them being penalised for holding on. However, a couple of malfunctions at scrum time did not allow Bury to capitalise.
Having soaked up some rather predictable Westcliff attacks, Bury extended their lead just before the break. Chris Lord’s scything run set up skipper Ollie Watson to touch down by the posts for a 20-3 half-time lead.
Bury effectively ended the contest in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.A strong run by Greg White earned yet another penalty and the power of the Bury forwards set up the space for Shaq Meyers to squeeze over.
Trailing by more than three scores, Westcliff were forced to chase the game and a speculative long pass was picked off by winger Ciaran Leeson. The speedster raced 50 metres but as the cover defence honed in, he expertly passed out the back of his hand to allow the supporting Leng to stroll over.
Leng almost scored his second but a fumble feet from the line resulted in the try of the day for Westcliff’s Croft. Running the ball from their own try line the ball went through several hands before Croft finished off a fantastic move.
Although still not firing properly, Bury still had too much in the tank for the visitors and further scores for Bentley and Bursey pleased the healthy crowd enjoying flowing rugby in the sunshine.
Dellas did manage to power his way over for Cliff’s second try but fittingly Ben Leng made it a brace and eight in total for Bury on the cusp of full time.