Kingdom breaks Bury hearts with a late penalty to win game
- Credit: Archant
National League Two South Bury St Edmunds 22 Taunton Titans 24 The Titans’ play-off push looked in serious doubt as a fired-up home side never gave their loftier opponents a moment’s rest.
However, Gary Kingdom’s nerveless penalty on 78 minutes snatched victory for Taunton.
Bury had led from the 12th minute and looked like they finally might defeat Taunton at the eighth time of asking. Sadly it was not to be as the Titans held their nerve and eventually broke down a valiant Bury effort.
In a performance so removed from the previous week, Bury defended with real tenacity and looked so dangerous on the counter sharing three tries apiece with their loftier opponents.
The opening 15 minutes belonged to Bury. Fantastic work by Walker and Bixby to fell the giant Titan No 8 Sam Prior earned Bury a penalty. This was rewarded when the ball was quickly transferred to put Ben Leng into space and the skipper left Kingdom flat footed as he side stepped his way over.
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Limlei converted and then landed a straight forward penalty three minutes later as Bury’s pressure in defence forced Taunton into another mistake.
However as the half wore on it was Taunton that were the more threatening. Midfield offside allowed Taunton to kick into the corner and organise a controlled driving maul. Bury managed to thwart the initial thrusts but could not prevent Hayler from crashing over from close range.
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Back came Bury thouugh, as Leng did brilliantly to first catch a long flat pass, then loop round the cover defence to fix the last man and send Stanway in by the left corner and make it 15-7 at the half.
The Titans came out all guns blazing for the second half and quickly got in touch when Woodward was driven over from close range after keeping the ball from the kick-off.
Alex Grey replied for Bury, breaking through two would-be tacklers to push Bury out to a 22–14 lead on the hour mark.
Crucially the Titans scored a third try themselves within minutes of Bury’s, as Baker crossed to set up a grandstand finish as Bury tried to hang onto their narrow lead.
Scholes almost got over but was stopped inches short and the Titans then worked their way down field, turned the screw on up front to earn the crucial penalty for Kingdom to convert.