Gallery: Welwyn put in fine team effort but fall to Bury St Edmunds defeat
PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:30 26 October 2009
London 2 North Welwyn 15 Bury St Edmunds 22 A SUPERB team effort saw Welwyn narrowly lose 22-15 at home to high-flyers Bury St Edmunds on Saturday. By common consent the Hobbs Way club were the better side on the day and were unlucky to lose. It was a
London 2 North
Welwyn 15 Bury St Edmunds 22
A SUPERB team effort saw Welwyn narrowly lose 22-15 at home to high-flyers Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.
By common consent the Hobbs Way club were the better side on the day and were unlucky to lose.
It was a performance full of ambition and team spirit against their London 2 North rivals from Suffolk.
A strong, cold wind blew almost directly the length of the pitch and Bury, having won the toss, elected to take advantage of this in the first half.
Welwyn kicked off into the teeth of the wind and gained a position on the Bury St Edmunds 22, which they maintained for the first few minutes.
The heavier Bury pack, however, drove Welwyn back from the first scrum and launched their first attack which was contested by fierce home tackling.
However, the visitors progressed down the field eventually threatening the Welwyn line after a long raking kick ahead.
The home side held out briefly but Bury eventually crossed the Welwyn line for the first try in the fifth minute of the game.
The conversion was successful to give the away side a 7-0 lead.
Welwyn responded strongly from the kick-off and the forwards showed how well they could pick up and drive.
Good picking and driving surprised the opposition and Welwyn now established a position on the Bury 22 where they launched the backs with good quick ball.
This was looking encouraging and in the 14th minute fly-half Gareth Hughes cross-kicked for Wayne Child to pluck a difficult high ball to cross over for a well-deserved try.
A difficult conversion into the strong wind was missed, but Welwyn at 7-5 down were back in the game.
From the restart the visitors forced a scrum wide out 15 metres off the Welwyn line.
Good quick ball from their put-in gave the Bury fly-half the chance to exploit the blindside and he went over to score their second try.
The conversion was kicked to give the away side a 14-5 lead.
At this stage, after the first quarter of the game, the Welwyn side were not to be discouraged and spent the next 10 minutes well into the Bury half.
With quick ball the home backs were trying to penetrate a stubborn defence.
Both centres, Wayne Child and Kyle Birkin, showed their determination with strong forward runs.
The visitors were now on the back foot and conceded three penalties.
The difficult wind denied Welwyn any more points at this stage though.
Having maintained their position for some time, Welwyn conceded some possession and found themselves back in their own 22 after long wind-assisted kicks down field by the visitors.
Bury then came to life and it was the home side's turn to defend their line.
Hard, aggressive tackling and good defensive play by Yourgos Alexander at full back kept the line intact.
But in the 35th minute, Welwyn conceded a penalty within their 22 which was converted to give Bury a 17-5 lead.
The hosts were forced into some changes around half-time, with Rob Picken picking up an injury to be replaced by Austen Cox, and Dean Storah replacing Kyle Birkin.
From the kick-off Welwyn continued to dominate all areas of the game.
A lovely break by the Suffolk club's outside centre took play up to the Welwyn 22 where Bury's left winger was put away for what looked like a certain try.
However, Adam Ginty would have none of this, and having come across from the opposite wing, made a magnificent try-saving tackle only yards from the Welwyn line.
But then a handling error led to another try for the visitors, and despite the conversion being missed, it was 22-5 to the Suffolk side.
A Welwyn penalty on the halfway line was taken quickly and both forwards and backs forced their way forward.
The machine rolled on; the forwards won the battle of the loose and Welwyn were rewarded with another try, this time by Scott Clewlow on the right wing in the corner.
The difficult kick was missed but the hosts were only trailing 22-10.
Again Welwyn came back from the kick-off. In the end another Welwyn cross-kick was launched to the right where the home backs won the battle for possession.
Clewlow fought his way over the line and past a couple of defender for his second score of the afternoon.
Another difficult kick was missed, but the deficit was now only seven points with five minutes to go.
However, the clock ticked on and Welwyn couldn't close the gap, as Bury recorded a narrow victory.