PICTURES AND REPORT: Bury St Edmunds thrash Old Redcliffians at third time of asking in National League 2 South
At the third time of asking these two sides finally met but, after the hour mark, Red’s would have probably wished this game had been cancelled too, writes Simon Lord.
At that point Bury led 59 – 0 with the Bristolians seemingly in complete disarray. An already manic second half then got crazier still as the visitors turned the game on its head to score four unanswered tries to claim an unlikely bonus point.
A blustery and chilly Haberden greeted Old Reds, in a well attended fixture with 373 braving the conditions, and although they had survived the might of Storm Jorge they could not withstand a bristling start from Bury, still smarting from last weeks trip to Bristol being postponed.
Relegation threatened Reds body language did not look great as they conceded three tries in the opening 20 minutes. Ciaran Leeson opened the scoring after just 4 minutes getting on the end of a sweeping move. The impressive Toby Hill then scored his first try for the club, powering over from short range before Matt Bursey followed up Ben Leng’s crashing run to finish off by the posts.
At that point Bury looked like running away with the game but the game lost its shape after a long stoppage due to an unfortunate injury to Reds Scott Coster. The flanker was carried from the field with a suspected broken ankle, everyone at Bury wishes him a speedy recovery.
The only other point of note in the first half was an unnecessary squabble that resulted in a yellow card to Bury’s Du Randt and a red card to Tom Jeanes for Old Reds.
But, after a drab ending to the first period, the second was chaotic.
In all, 11 tries were scored in the second period, but no one could have predicted how they would pan out. Bury burst out of the blocks, going back to strength, they turned the screw at the set piece to build a winning platform.
Georgi Gidionov’s injury at the first scrum of the second half seemed to fire up his fellow Wolfpack and they smashed the next one to almost send Kodie Hawkins over. His wriggling run was halted inches short but No 8 Bursey was once again on hand to burrow over. Hawkins converted, and despite the blustery conditions he would go on to land 8 out of 10 attempts.
Not the start the visitors wanted and it just got worse when they conceded again, directly from the re start. Ben Leng fielded the kick off, ran back fully 50 metres before linking with Du Randt to create the space down the blindside for Scrum Half Seb Dusi to scamper down and score.
Reds looked broken and Bury took advantage to score tries at regular intervals. 4 more followed in the next 15 minutes. Bury were back on point, dominating the scrums, pacy out wide and aggressive in defence.
Yas Browne having almost won the race to a charge down, steered his pack over the line for a push over try, Alfie Garsdie pounced on a spilt pass to weave his way over, Tom Brown finished off probably the best try of the day before Yas Browne scored his second after a short line out routine worked a treat.
Just over the hour gone and Bury leading 59 – 0! What happened next was bewildering.
The only place Reds wanted to be was on the coach heading West and yet somehow they raised themselves to score 4 unanswered tries!
The introduction of the substantial Mat Plumley paid dividends and his barrelling run and try got the biggest cheer of the day. The Home crowd then grew restless as Bury began to fall off too many tackles and allow the visitors to score three more tries. The 4th one understandably celebrated loudly by the Reds as it garnered an incredible bonus point.
The Bury coaching staff did not look impressed with what they were watching and one suspects training next week will not begin in a friendly manner. Perhaps in an attempt to mitigate the pain that is likely to follow, Bury raised themselves to score with the last play of the game. Fittingly Club Captain Will Affleck rounded of a flowing move to end this extraordinary encounter.
Tries: Leeson, Hill, Bursey (2) Dusi, Y Browne (2) Garside, Brown, Affleck
Cons: Hawkins 8
Tries: Plumley, Doyle, Groves, Clements
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