Wolfpack sign off year with rare away victory
Bury St Edmunds signed off 2019 with a 36-15 win away to Westcliff in the National League 2 South, to see the side in ninth open up a 10-point gap to 10th position in the standings.
They wrap up the first half of the season with eight wins and seven defeats – and a further 11 points in bonus points; they are due to return on January 4 at home to Clifton.
Bury recorded just a second away win of the season despite it not being as comfortable as it looked on paper, with two late tries securing the win.
Westcliff missed out on a consolation bonus point as, in the end, the quality of players like Ben Leng and Tom Brown coming off the bench for Bury was the difference between the sides.
Kodie Hawkins opened Bury’s scoreboard with an early penalty, before Ben Cooper sold an outrageous dummy to fox the home defence. Hawkins then cleverly chipped through and a Westcliff fumble allowed Will Affleck to grab a poachers try – converted – for a 10-0 lead.
Westcliff’s forwards were certainly holding their own against the Wolfpack and it was no surprise when a series of close quarter drives culminated in a try.
Kieran Miekle then ran in under the posts after a good lineout and work from Affleck for a 17-5 lead. But one penalty too many cost them as Westcliff drove over for a converted score to send the home side into the break feeling optimistic as they only trailed 17-12.
Westcliff were backed by a noisy and raucous crowd and fought hard in the second half but could only find three more points.
And the game remained scoreless for almost 20 minutes of the second half before Bury sent on Leng. He helped create a Mat Bursey try to take the score to 22-12.
With a 10 point cushion and a little more structure to their game Bury looked in control, punishing a tiring home side with two fine tries, both converted.
Leng burst through to run in by the posts from a Tom Milosevic break before Bury rubbed salt into the home side’s wounds from the restart.
Hawkins sent a clever cross field kick, which bounced kindly for Ciaran Leeson to gather and run in for a deserved score.
Hawkins’ simple conversion was the last act of the game and Bury could celebrate their final match of the decade with a morale boosting away win.
More by this authorHannah Dolman