Four tries for Matt Bursey as Bury St Edmunds lift spirits in wake of England's World Cup final defeat with whitewash win over Sutton & Epsom in National League 2 South
Bury banished Saturday’s World Cup blues and a run of two successive defeats with a fine five-try victory in National League 2 South against visiting Sutton & Epsom, writes Simon Lord.
Flanker Matt Bursey will grab the headlines as he helped himself to four tries, but it was a much improved performance from The Wolfpack against a Sutton side who had plenty of territory but never honestly looked like scoring.
Head coach Nick Wakley had demanded a response after last week’s insipid display at Leicester Lions, and the players certainly delivered.
Ben Leng was one of several players making a welcome return for Bury and his trademark break sent Yasin Browne galloping towards the line. A tap-tackle denied the lock but Shaq Meyers was on hand to round off the move with less than 10 minutes on the clock. Kodie Hawkins converted well as he was to do all game, landing five of his six attempts.
Bury were looking really lively, tenacious in defence and adventurous in attack and they did not give the visitors a moment’s rest.
Mike Stanway’s fine break got Bury deep into Sutton territory and after some superb off loading, flanker Bursey was driven over from close range.
For the remainder of the half Bury were in control. Half-backs Sebastiano Dusi and Hawkins kept the tempo high and the hosts added another score just on the half hour. Leng’s crashing run followed by Dan Walshe’s break was rounded off by Bursey diving over in the corner.
On both occasions Bursey was the right man in the right place to finish off attacking moves to give Bury a deserved 19-0 half-time lead.
The second half was played in constant rain reducing the game as a spectacle, and although the visitors dominated possession and territory, their attacks lacked the imagination to unpick a determined defence.
Bury’s rearguard, which had wilted in the second half the previous week, remained strong. Sutton’s big ball carriers were cut down at source and increasingly their attacks began to look more desperate and unstructured.
In contrast, Bury took their chances to increase their lead further.
Stanway’s counter-attack was kept alive for Bursey to squeeze over to nab the bonus point early in the half.
As the intensity of the rain increased, the quality of the game deteriorated. However, the brave souls who stayed out to support were rewarded late on when a driving maul of fully 25 metres allowed Bursey to score again. The flanker dotted down to finish the scoring on 71 minutes to cap off a fine afternoon’s work at The Haberden.
It sees Bury move up to eighth ahead of tomorrow’s game at Old Redcliffians in Brislington, Bristol (2.30pm), with their opponents having taken Sutton & Epsom’s 13th spot with their losing bonus point in their derby loss at Dings Crusaders.
Bury: Tries.Meyers 9 Bursey 16,27,48,71 Cons: Hawkins (4)
Star Man:Alex Leo – Bury – all action display
Teams. Bury: Affleck, Stanway, Leng, Miekle, Meyers,Hawkins, Dusi:
Winter, Walsh, Cooper, Leo, Browne, Bursey, Milosevic, Davis:
Res: Waldouck, Hill, Brown, Leeson, Harvey
Sutton & E: Jansen, Ghumra, Bourton, See, Aremu, Knight, Holt:
Mount, Farrell, Sloumbourdis, Harwood, Duey, Kilgalon, Smart, Belcher.
Res: Bruce, Coutts, London, Potts, Mason.