BURY ST EDMUNDS 14 CANTERBURY 20
One of the impressive features of Canterbury’s winning run has been their ability to close out tight games. At Bury they were once again pushed hard but tries either side of half time and the accurate goal kicking of Ollie Best brought them a seventh straight victory. The win maintained their second place in the National 2 South table.Bury, revitalised by a new coach and faced by a sprinkling of their former players, were never going to make life easy, but the city side’s composure in the late stages made sure there was no upset.
After taking the lead through a Best penalty goal, in a first half plagued by rain and wind, they fell behind as an eager Bury forced errors. Full back Franco Catuogno slotted three penalty goals and it wasn’t until late in the half that Canterbury found a way past a solid defence. Ignoring an easy three points they opted for a scrum and drove hard around the fringes before working an opening for Aiden Moss’s eighth try of the season. A fine conversion from Best edged them in front and that momentum continued into the new half. A second try arrived after Bury were reduced to fourteen men when Ollie Watson was sin binned for a dangerous mid-air tackle. He was fortunate not to receive a heavier sanction but Bury were made to pay for his absence
Canterbury set up camp on the home line and from a line out, not always the usual reliable source of possession, they made no mistake this time, A catch and drive saw prop Sam Kenny claim the touchdown and Best was again on target to open an eight point gap.
That breathing space, however, was reduced to a gasp as Bury fought back and the city side lost Sean Stapleton to a yellow card. The hosts quickly took advantage with a try from prop Patrick Robinson, too wide out for the conversion to succeed, but they were clearly back in the game.
It was now, with 25 minutes still on the clock, that Canterbury’s strengths came to the fore. They used possession wisely, reduced Bury’s attacking opportunities to a trickle and eventually forced a simple penalty in front of the posts. Best did the rest. A six point lead was still no guarantee but it was one that Canterbury never really looked like surrendering..
Canterbury: A.Moss, R.Mackntosh (repl J Murray), S.Serling, T.Best, C.Grimes, O.Best, D.Smart (repl K,Braithwaite), A.Cooper,T.King, S.Kenny (repl J.Green), R.Cadman, M.Corker, L.Whetton (repl F.Edwards,). S.Stapleton, J.Stephens (repl J.Otto)