Canterbury let a sixteen point lead slip away as they were comprehensively outplayed in the second half. A revitalised Bury scored 24 unanswered points after the break to leave the city side with a second National 2 South defeat in a row and a nil return for only the second time this season.
After going into half time with three tries and that relatively comfortable advantage under their belts Canterbury came second almost everywhere. Bury’s direct and powerful back row took command of the breakdown area and when chances were created they were taken clinically.
It was all a far cry from the opening 40 minutes when, despite gifting the visitors the opening score and conceding too many penalties, the city men profited through their clever back division.
The early Bury try, scored by Will Scholes after Canterbury failed to collect a kick and paid for letting it bounce, was soon offset. Aiden Moss played a leading part as he pierced the defence on the right flank and JJ Murray made the touch down. Ollie Best converted, with the help of a deflection off a post, but was left with a simpler kick when brother Tom got the second try. As pressure built Dan Smart’s trademark tap penalty and chip over the last defender gave Best his chance. It was Canterbury who were making the running but with the wind at their backs they needed to establish a stronger position. Bury frustrated them for almost ten minutes, one attack being held up over the line, before a ball won at at the scrum was shipped to the elusive Moss who sent wing Barney Howard over at the corner.
Was it enough? We started to get the answers ten minutes into the second half when Bury scrum half Matt Harrison’s flicked reverse pass opened a gap for a back row break and a try for wing George Osborne, converted by Fraser Honey. Having detected a weakness an increasingly confident Bury went for the kill in the final quarter. They exploited a kick which failed to find touch with a try for Dwayne Corcoran, topped up by Honey’s second conversion, and the fly half’s sharp dummy and break set up a bonus point score for Chris Lord which took his side into the lead. Canterbury now barely posed a threat, apart from their mauling skills, but ruined their one decent chance by giving away a penalty. They were a pale imitation of their earlier selves and as Bury continued to dominate it was no surprise when Brendan Mitchell completed their fight back with a fifth try.
Canterbury: A.Moss ( repl K. Braithwaite), B.Howard, JJ Murray, T.Best, G.Hilton, O.Best, D.Smart, J.Green (repl A.Cooper0, J.Otto (repl T,Rogers), S.Kenny (repl J.Green), R.Cadman, M.Corker (repl L.Whetton), J.Rigby (repl W.Farris), S.Clark, M.Cantwell