Saints clinch promotion in a drama-laden semi-final
British And American Football Association National League Division Two Play-Off Semi-Final
Bury Saints 22
Sussex Thunder 20
Bury Saints achieved promotion to Division One and booked a play-off final appearance with a thrilling triple overtime 22-20 win over the Sussex Thunder at Thetford Rugby Club on Sunday.
After Sussex initially took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, a 34-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Evin Reese to Joey Etheridge put the hosts a point behind going into the break.
Quarter-back Fred Boyle connected with Reese from 22 yards out and running back Derek White ran in the two extra points for a 14-7 Saints lead.
But in the final quarter Thunder replied with seven points to take the tie into sudden death overtime.
Sussex won the toss and had the first opportunity to score, but they missed another field goal, while The Green and Gold were enduring their own kicking problems.
In the second period Sussex looked certain to have won the game with a touchdown run. But a penalty, this time against the Thunder, negated the score.
It was Bury who took the lead though, with Jake Swisher powering in on the left and Boyle running in the extra two to make it 22-14.
Sussex had to match the score on their next drive and did so with a 15 yard touchdown throw to bring them to within two points.
With nerves at breaking point, Sussex needed to convert the two extra point attempt from the three yard line, but as the quarter-back headed for the end zone, Rob Love and Will Hill combined to drag him down short to end the game.