NATIONAL LEAGUE TWO SOUTH
Bury St Edmunds 24
A superb second-half fight back saw Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club turn around a 20-3 deficit at the break to eventually clinch a vital 24-20 success over struggling Chinnor.
Defeat against their second-bottom visitors would have dragged Bury right back into the relegation fold and it looked very much the case at the interval.
Having broken the deadlock with an early penalty, Chinnock extended their advantage as Olley scored the first try of the afternoon which was converted by Hopkin to give them a 10- lead after 25 minutes.
The home side responded with a successful penalty of their own from Scott Lyle but it was a short lived fight back as Chinnor capitalised on slack defending with the impressive Heath bursting through a gap in Bury’s line to score. This time Hopkin missed the conversion as the visitor’s lead stood at 15-3.
However, it was not long until the travelling fans were celebrating again as, in almost identical fashion to his first try, Heath found another gap in the defensive line to race away and double his personal try tally. Hopkin was again off target with the extras as Bury went into the interval trailing 20-3.
The home side came out rejuvenated in the second-half and quickly went about reducing the deficit as a flowing move saw Tim Mann brerak away through the centre before releasing Will Affleck to bundle over. Lyle stepped up and added the extras to leave the score at 20-1o to Chinnor.
The visitors responded strongly to the early setback but were made to rue a host of missed opportunities as Hopkin missed yet another attempt before Burns had a try ruled out for an off-the-ball incident which resulted in Jones being sin-binned.
And it was to prove the turning point as Bury rallied to set up a grandstand finish to the match.
A prolonged period of pressure saw Sean Stapleton manage to force his way over the line through a sea of bodies, again converted by Lyle, before Bury missed what looked like a winning chance with a flowing move and scoring opportunity being dropped in the far corner.
However, their endeavours in the howling wind and torrential rain throughout the second half were to be rewarded as mounting pressure on the Chinnor line resulted in a penalty try being awarded much to the delight of the large home crowd. The reliable Lyle stepped up once again with the successful conversion to cap off a sensational second-half display and complete an impressive turnaround.