Good start to new season for Bury Saints

Action from Bury Saints' win over Sussex Thunder at Thetford Rugby Club - No 7 RB Cory Jenkins. Pict

Action from Bury Saints' win over Sussex Thunder at Thetford Rugby Club - No 7 RB Cory Jenkins. Picture: Hayden Marie Photography - Credit: Archant

Bury Saints, coming off a season in which they never lost a game and won the Rosebowl with promotion to National League Division One football, continued that winning streak with a 34-0 dismantling of 2015 semi-final opponents Sussex Thunder at Thetford RFC.

After holding the high powered Sussex offense scoreless on their opening drive the Saints offence took only three plays to drive 84 yards and score, culminated by running back Cory Jenkins’ 54-yard touchdown scamper. The point after was perfect by Rob Giles.

The next few drives by both teams failed to secure points, but late in the first quarter the Bury offence drove the field and finished off with a Fred Boyle run at the goal-line to push the score to 13-0. Pauly Bowers nailed the PAT to make it 14-0.

A few more field position swaps and the Bury offence once again made a drive midway through the second quarter to the Sussex nine-yard line where Boyle passed to Don Washington for a Saints touchdown. Giles once again made the PAT and the score was 21-0 at half-time.

Coming out of the half the field position battle ensued with Bury and Sussex trading punts. Bury on their second possession after the intermission drove another 80 yards and capped it off with a 35-yard run by another new running back in Tommy Ellerbe. This time the PAT was blocked by Sussex so the scoreline stood at 27-0.

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The score stayed that way until late in the game when the Saints in a spirited final drive managed to get to the Sussex 12 and Boyle connected with Josh Marlow on a TD pass. Bowers made the final PAT finishing the scoring at 34-0.

Sussex were held to 108 total yards combined through the air and on the ground, never getting into the Bury red zone. The defence was responsible for intercepting the Sussex quarter-back four times with Dmont Herring, Troy Cockerill, and Rob Giles picking off the passes along with Jack Hewett.

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Herring also added a fumble recovery after a big gain for Sussex to stop a drive. Fabian Mitchell and the rest of the defensive line had a standout game with Mitchell getting a sack to help seal the win.

Bury interim head coach Christian Cantrill said: “Although we got a massive result against a team we needed three OT last year to beat, we have a lot to work on with the SFC1 Bowl finalists coming to town in two weeks.

“I can say I am very proud of the way my coordinators Neil Van Holland, Bobby Coffman and Jamie Nuttall prepared and executed a very precise gameplan to achieve the result. We have work on our hands with nine more very tough games going forward with the Thrashers on the forefront of our preparations.”

The Saints are back in action at Thetford RFC on Sunday, April 24 (2pm kick-off), against last year’s Southern Conference One finalists Solent Thrashers.

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