Late Effort Not Enough
Bury St Edmunds 31 Canterbury 17by Andy Rogers Injury and illness may have shaped selection for this league encounter at Bury – with four players making their first start of the season – but the outcome was all too familiar. Plenty of endeavour, particularly in the second half but by then the initiative had been lost and so had the game.
As in the previous week, Canterbury shipped their first try within two minutes when Bury winger Mick Stanway waltzed his way through a gaping hole in the defence. In trying to gain a foothold in the game the city side repeatedly failed to kick effectively, inviting Bury’s talented back three to run the ball wide. A 13th-minute try from No 8 Ruaraidh Williams stretched the home side’s lead to fourteen points. Guilty of far too many unforced errors and poor tactical kicking Canterbury did strike on 20 minutes when No 8 Tyler Oliver scored a pushover but whilst the hard work was there the precision needed was not. A further Bury try from Matt Bursey, converted by Kodie Hawkins, saw them go in at the break 21 – 5 to the good.
Twenty five minutes into the second half and Bury had put the game to bed with further tries from Ben Cooper, from a catch and drive, and full back Will Affleck’s interception and 60 metre sprint. It was an unlucky blow just as Canterbury were building some attacking momentum.
With the game now beyond them, the city side went on to grab two scores in the final ten minutes as they searched for a consolation losing bonus point. Relentless carrying from inspirational skipper Jamie Stephens led to tries for winger Guy Hilton and debutant loose head Cameron Macmillan, with Frank Reynolds adding one conversion. Alas, even that single point was to elude them.