Bees grab win and five points in Suffolk nail biter
By Richard Smith
A chink of light at the end of the tunnel following a dramatic victory at Haberden
Match Report by Mike Podmore
Clinical finishing in the first half, in which the Bees scored four tries, and some fantastic defending to hold up the Wolfpack in the 40th minute, ultimately decided the fate of this nail-biter of a game.
The Bees now go into next weekend's home fixture against Barnes, a team they have already beaten this season, knowing that victory could well move them out of the relegation places.
In perfect weather conditions, Pet Glackin’s men kicked off on a somewhat uneven pitch. The home side soon took the initiative and were not afraid to play open and expansive rugby. The Bees defence held firm, but BSE's over-elaborate play did not help their cause.
BSE were penalised at the breakdown down following the Bees first venture into their 22. Instead of taking an easy 3 points, they kicked for touch. Ball was secured at the resulting line-out and the Wolfpack could not stop Nathan Tilsley being driven over for the opening try of the game in the 12th minute. Jack Jolly narrowly missed a difficult conversion, but the Bees led by five points.
The Bees dealt with the restart superbly, such an important facet of the modern game, and immediately put pressure on BSE. A loose pass from the Suffolk men was intercepted by Jolly, who managed a lung bursting 40 metre sprint to score his side’s second try. He then composed himself sufficiently to add the extras and give his side a 12 point lead, with just 15 minutes on the clock.
The visitors again handled BSE's restart effectively and kicked deep into the home side's territory. The ever-alert Ashley Scriven charged down Cameron Ritchie's, BSE's fly-half, clearance kick and flying winger, Matt Dight went over in the corner. Jolly was successful with the difficult conversion and the Bees now led by 19 points, coming up to the end of the first quarter.
BSE were shell shocked conceding 3 tries in such a short period of time. Whatever they tried didn't work and Bees confidence was growing by the minute. In the 35th minute, a poor kick out of defence was fielded by Dight and his mazy 45 metre run allowed him to score his second and the Bees 4th, bonus point, try of the day. Jolly duly added the extras to give Bees a 26-0 lead.
BSE threw the kitchen sink at Bees in an attempt to get some points on the board before half-time. However, valiant Bees’ defence ensured that the Wolfpack couldn't ground the ball as they crossed the line in the 40th minute. So, at half-time Bees led 26-0.
Goodness knows what Kevin Maggs said to his side during the half-time break, but they were certainly fired up at the start of the 2nd half, and immediately took the game to the Bees. In the 41st minute, Chris Lord, BSE's full-back, powered his way through a number of last-ditch tackles to score his side’s opening points of the game. Chris Leng, inside centre, was unsuccessful with the conversion, so BSE trailed 26-5.
Three minutes later a clever inside pass enabled outside centre Mark Kohler to score BSE's second try of the day. Leng added the extras and the home side, now trailing 26-12, were well in control of proceedings. In the 46th minute, it was a case of deja vu when Kohler sprinted clear to score his second, and BSE's third try. Anton Limlei, Austrian international scrum-half, added the extras and BSE were now only seven points behind a bewildered Bees.
The men in white finally managed to get some possession in the BSE half, and in the 51st minute the home side were penalised for being offside. However, Jolly missed with his penalty attempt from 40 metres.
The Bees efforts to regain control of the game were not helped, when in the 53rd minute replacement flanker Adam Clayton was yellow carded for a high tackle, and in the 60th minute when Umraan Jadwat was yellow carded for a no arms tackle. Down to 13 men, BSE soon levelled the scores at 26 apiece, when blind-side flanker Alex Grey was driven over from an attacking line-out. Cameron Ritchie was successful with the conversation.
This was as good as it got for the home side. With Clayton and Jadwat back on the pitch, the super fit Bees began to seize the initiative as BSE tired. With eleven minutes remaining, Jolly was successful with a penalty to give his side a slim but important 3-point lead. It was an advantage that the visitors were determined not to give away, as they played “keep ball” to run the clock down.
With time seemingly up, there was some confusion at the end of the match. As the Bees cleared to touch, some “handbags” broke out involving several players. The referee and his assistants eventually restored calm, ending the game and confirming a 26-29 win for the Bees and an invaluable five league points.
It's back to Portway next weekend, (Saturday 6th April 2.30pm KO), when the Bees take on Barnes. With the gap between them and fourth from bottom Dings now reduced to 4 points, it is another game where points will be vital if the relegation bullet is to be dodged.
Bury St Edmunds RUFC v Bees: 1. Joe Foreman, 2. Zane Raimondi, 3. Nick Bingham,4. Keanan Cooper, 5. Andrew Weaver, 6. Ashley Scriven, 7. Marcus Brown, 8. Umraan Jadwat (YC), 9. Jack Jolly (c) 1T, 1P, 3C), 10. Harry O'Brien, 11. Matt Dight (2T), 12. Nathan Tilsley (1T), 13. Dan Kelly, 14. Adam Nunney, 15. Corey Venus. Replacements- 16. JP Nel, 17. Stewart Pearl, 18. Matt Spink, 19, Ben Phillips, 20. Adam Clayton (YC).
Referee:- James Philip Clarke; AR1, Luke Haskins; AR2, David Myers.