Bury Saints 39 Colchester Gladiators 13 – Saints win title to set up play-off tie

Action from Bury Saints 39-13 win over Colchester Gladiators in Thetford - RB Derek White runs in hi

Action from Bury Saints 39-13 win over Colchester Gladiators in Thetford - RB Derek White runs in his 60 yard TD. Picture: William G Watson - Credit: William G Watson

Bury Saints clinched the Southern Football Conference One title with a 39-13 drubbing of last year’s play-off participants Colchester Gladiators on a sun-drenched day in Thetford.

Action from Bury Saints 39-13 win over Colchester Gladiators in Thetford - FS Luke Cowley challenges

Action from Bury Saints 39-13 win over Colchester Gladiators in Thetford - FS Luke Cowley challenges for a contested pass. Picture: William G Watson - Credit: William G Watson

The win also secured the Saints a first round play-off home game on Sunday, August 7 at Thetford Rugby Club.

Running back Chris May securing an eight-yard touchdown and Pauly Bowers added the point after attempt to make the score 7-0 with barely three minutes gone.

Chris Rhodey’s first touchdown of the season pushed the score to 13-0 before a touchdown pass from quarterback Francis Hughes to wide receiver Evin Reese made it 19-0 in the second quarter.

That was followed by a 40-yard interception from Phil Blowers to set up a two-play drive with running back Derek White rushing for 18 yards on the touchdown for 25-0 at half-time.

Action from Bury Saints 39-13 win over Colchester Gladiators in Thetford - QB Francis Hughes taking

Action from Bury Saints 39-13 win over Colchester Gladiators in Thetford - QB Francis Hughes taking a snap. Picture: William G Watson - Credit: William G Watson

Further touchdowns from White and Michael Gallindo’s, with two PATs from Bowers made it 39-6, with Colchester eventually hitting back for a final score of 39-16.

Saints head coach Christian Cantrill was ecstatic after the game, saying: “After last week’s dramatic tie game in Brighton we needed to get re-focused on the task at hand and the players responded well.

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“Winning a Conference championship at home in front of our fans was a real treat, and we hope that it’s not the only championship we can bring to Bury this year as we still have a final regular season game at Herts and then the play-offs.

“We do have some things to work on for the next game and we will be ready for a Hertfordshire team that can be dangerous given the chance.”

The Saints have a week off and then travel to St Albans to play the Cheetahs on July 31.