Bury St Edmunds fail to get to grip with conditions at Leciester Lions in National League 2 South
After watching England progress to the World Cup Final en-route, Bury St Edmunds slipped and slithered to a 17-0 defeat at a rain-lashed TMDP Park against Leicester Lions in National League 2 South, reports Simon Lord.
The conditions ruined any chance of the game being a spectacle, however The Wolfpack can have no-one but themselves to blame for this frustrating defeat.
Bury had enjoyed the majority of territory and possession in the first half but lacked the composure and execution to make their half chances count.
The first 40 minutes were scoreless, in fact it was 65 minutes before Lions’ fly half Ben Young kicked a penalty to open the scoring.
That penalty seemed a long way from early Bury promise. As early as the fourth minute it looked like Will Affleck’s good work and Dan Walshe’s driving run would create a try, but Bury were penalised under the Lions’ posts for sealing off at a ruck.
As the rain continued to fall and the ground increasingly cut up, the game became a midfield slog.
Defences were on top and inevitably mistakes from both sides crept in as they struggled to look after the greasy ball.
Moments of quality were at a premium, but had Shaq Meyers not slipped in the mud he would surely have finished off a fine cross-field kick.
There was little structure to either side’s play, and the only other thing of note in the first half was the sad loss of Chris Lord and Alfie Garside, forcing Bury into a major re-jig in the backline.
A noticeable trait towards the latter part of the scoreless first half was the number of penalties Bury were conceding at the breakdown, and as conditions worsened the visitors not only lost their feet but they also lost their heads.
Neither side looked like creating a meaningful chance, but Bury handed the initiative to the hosts as they continued to fall foul of the referee.
Promising positions were lost on too many occasions, and although Bury may feel they did not get the rub of the green, at this level, the players have to adapt and react to the demands of the official.
The Lions took advantage of the ill-discipline to advance deep into Bury territory. A series of plays turned the screw on a floundering defence and Young kicked the simple penalty awarded for offside.
Scoring chances were always going to be at a premium and the successful penalty noticeably lifted the Lions while Bury looked very disheartened for the closing 15 minutes.
Dan Walshe continued to carry the ball well and Affleck worked overtime at full back as Lions sensibly kicked deep for territory.
However. Bury handed the ball back all too easily to the Leicester side and with five minutes to go they made Bury pay.
A strong driving maul was joined by several of the Lions’ three-quarters and Ben Cooper had to resort to pulling the maul down to prevent the try. He was shown a yellow card and Lions wisely opted to take a scrum. Bury were penalised for early engagement and Rudd, a long way from where he should have taken the penalty, tapped the ball and slithered over.
The game was lost and not even a bonus point was in sight. To add salt into the wounds, with the last play of the game, the Lions repeated their driving maul with Godefroy spinning off and dotting the ball down for 17-0.
Bury, who now lie in a mid-table ninth place in table after eight matches, will need to lick their wounds and look to bounce back when they entertain Sutton & Epsom (13th) for the first time at The Haberden on Saturday (3pm).
More by this authorRussell Claydon