Frustration reigns as Bury St Edmunds fall foul of the match official in defeat to in-form Redruth
Bury St Edmunds endured a frustrating afternoon at the hands of the referee in a 33-17 defeat to in-form Redruth at the Greene King IPA Haberden this afternoon, where the scoreline did not really reflect the game.
Patrick Robinson's reply to two opening tries, one highly controversial, on the stroke of half-time sparked the comeback with The Wolfpack turning things round with good pressure leading to a 17-12 advantage.
But lost their way as the referee's decisions continued to baffle and frustrate the home crowd, though taking nothing away from Redruth who showed just why they are pushing at the top end of the table.
Bury went into the game seventh in the table having won three of their last four matches including a 36-24 win at Dings Crusaders the previous weekend, which came after a narrow home defeat to Barnes.
Their Cornish visitors had won their last eight matches to leave them eight points adrift of leaders Tonbridge Juddians.
Nick Wakley brought in last season's captain Ollie Watson for his first start since a long lay-off with injury while Yasin Browne was also pack in the pack following an injury. The bigger half of the Ben Cooper duo missed out following a reported spell in hospital.
Redruth featured former Wolfpack fly-half Fraser Honey in their line-up and it was a surprise to the home crowd to see him fail from an early central penalty, despite the visitors going against the wind in the first half.
Despite largely being on the back foot, Bury had a couple of promising early forays into Redruth's 22 but after the first was kicked out of the corner, the next saw them fall foul of the referee to surrender the momentum.
After soaking up a bit more pressure they came desperately close to opening the scoring in the 18th minute but winger Alfie Garside, chasing a kick down, knocked on within a metre of the line trying to claim control of it.
After surviving a few kicks to the corner, Bury eventually succumbed to the first try of the day in the 24th minute in bizarre circumstances.
After doing well to hold up the feared driving maul, which has been regularly taking points off opponents up and down the league, they made the mistake of putting the ball down behind the line allowing the quick-thinking Tood Prisk to nip in and touch it. The referee dismissed the ensuring protests, with confusion reigned in the stands, and Honey made no mistake with the conversion kick this time around.
Redruth continued to enjoy the decisions in the first period with the home crowd soon voicing their disapproval with an uncharacteristic chorus of 'boos' at the half-hour mark.
No sooner had number 8 Matt Bursey been sent to the sin bin the Cornish side were celebrating a second try. Again, it came from a catch-and-drive move with the forwards carrying over Bradley Howe.
A swashbuckling run from hooker Dan Walsh and their own driving maul failed to deliver a reply on the scoreboard for Bury.
But in the last play of the half, just after Redruth's full-back Matthew Shepherd had been sin-binned, Patrick Robinson dived over from close range. Kodie Drury-Hawkins' kick had looked good from the stand but had fractionally missed, leaving a one-try deficit, at 12-5, at half-time.
Bury picked up where they left off in the second half, camping themselves inside the Redruth half before their patience phases eventually paid off by finding Drury-Hawkins to arc a run in on the left-hand side. But the conversion, which would have drawn them level, proved to big an ask from a wide angle for their try scorer.
The good start continued and the hosts got themselves in front in the 52nd minute when replacement Greg White stopped a gap in the defensive line and ran in strongly from deep. Drury-Hawkins' kick was not the easiest of his on the day but went over to big cheers to make the score 17-12.
It was not until just after the hour mark that Redruth put the home defence under pressure and their job was made harder when Watson was shown a yellow card.
But it was to prove costly as, from the resulting five-metre scrum, an opening was worked for full-back Matt Shepherd with a tackle prevented by the referee's position, leading to protest from the Bury players. But the try stood and Honey kicked a simple conversion over to edge the visitors back ahead 19-17.
Suddenly the decisions, like in the first half, were all going against the hosts.
Redruth continued to gain more momentum and following a 71st minute lineout, worked some space to switch the ball back out to the left for winger Dean Bonds to get just about far enough with the ball to be awarded the try. A good conversion from Honey left Bury nine points adrift.
A good tackle in the clubhouse corner from Drury-Hawkins limited the damage.
But with what turned out to be the penultimate play of the match, Redruth got their fifth try of the day. Following a secum, after the hosts conceded a penalty from a lineout five metres from their line, full-back Shepherd made a good inside line to spin through. Another good conversion from Honey left the scoreboard at 33-17.
Bury: 15 Lord, 14 Leeson, 20 Du Randt, 12 Leng, 11 Garside, 10 Drury-Hawkins, 9 Harvey, 1 Robinson, 2 Walsh, 3 Cooper, 4 Leo, 5 Brown, 6 Watson, 7 Milosevic, 8 Bursey. Replacements: Grey, Gardner, Hill, Grigg-Pettitt, White.
Coaches' Man of The Match: Patrick Robinson.
Nick Wakley's side are back at the Greene King IPA Haberden next Saturday when they host the side a place above them in the table in sixth, Leicester Lions (3pm).
More by this authorRussell Claydon