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Bury St Edmunds show fight in battling loss at Old Elthamians

13:15 13 April 2014

Tanimo Samoa rampages through at Old Elthamians

Tanimo Samoa rampages through at Old Elthamians

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National League 3 London & SE

Old Elthamians 45

Bury St Edmunds 7

The 18 players of Bury St Edmunds did themselves, the club and the integrity of the league proud with an outstanding display of pride and passion.

The Bury rugby squad after the final game of the seasonThe Bury rugby squad after the final game of the season

Although unlikely, should Elts have defeated Bury by 40 points more than Dorking’s win at Thurrock then they would be crowned league champions.

After Bury’s disappointing defeat at Hertford last week, one wondered how Bury might cope with the expected onslaught.

The travelling faithful need not have worried!

Despite losing Jonno Crisp in the 6th minute with an elbow injury, the Bury players to a man put their bodies on the line to hold a rampant home side.

OE’s laid siege to the Bury line, with almost the whole of the first half being played in or around the Bury 22.

Ironically the only score of the half came from a rare foray into the home sides half.

Matt Eddison’s fine break gave the space for Snelling to kick down field. Elthamians fielded the ball well, recycled the ball once and as the Bury defence drifted, right wing Jonny Williams ghosted through a gap for the score to make it 7-0 at the half.

Bury bounced back after just two minutes of the second half. Eddison’s line out take was rapidly transferred to man of the match Tanimo Samoa, who somehow evaded two would-be tacklers to race in by the posts. A conversion later and Bury were level at 7-7.

Rush converted and Bury were back on level terms.

OE’s responded well. A superbly orchestrated catch and drive travelled almost 20 metres to create the space for full-back Hamilton to glide in by the sticks. White added the extras and it was 14-7.

The score seemed to ease the tension in the home side and they went back to the same tactic again to this time power over for a forward’s try.

Bury refused to lay down and they pushed OE’s back. However as they became more expansive the gaps started to appear in the defence.

Bonner touched down as the larger OE forwards were really beginning to make their advantage count.

Bury were on the back foot and forced to counter attack from unlikely angles to gain any ground. But one such counter saw lock Tim Young throw out an optimistic pass that was intercepted by Rob White and he waltzed home. Tom White’s metronomic conversion made it 33-7 with still 15 long minutes to go.

The Bury players continued to tackle their hearts out but inevitably it was starting to take its toll.

With two players down, receiving treatment from visiting and home physios, referee Rozier allowed OE’s to take a penalty rather than halt the play. A convincing overlap was created and Bonner scored his second try.

With almost the last act of the match, Williams scored his second try when after many many phases the gap in Bury defence finally opened up.

Nonetheless, Bury have enjoyed an outstanding first season in the national league, with players, supporters and coaches thoroughly looking forward to next season.

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Paul Digby (right) and Marc McNulty in action during Ipswich Town's FA Cup home game against Portsmouth last season. Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

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