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Home > News > Bury St Edmunds 10 - London Nigerian 6
Your News Bury St Edmunds 10 - London Nigerian 6

Close but no cigar. By failing to win this Must Win fixture, Nigerian dropped back into the relegation zone as Welwyn Garden City won at already doomed Thurrock.

The visitors certainly approached this encounter in the right spirit, arriving at this north-eastern outpost of London Division 2 two hours ahead of kick-off. In a game that was as close as the score line indicates, the Nigerian defence was dogged, with Bury scoring the games only try from a 5m attacking scrum whilst their guests were reduced to fourteen men with Steve Hanlon, the loosehead prop serving time in the sin bin.

Bury were dominant in the scrums and almost omnipotent in the line-out contests. The latter fact proved decisive in the victory. With an almost gale force breeze blowing diagonally across the pitch, Bury opted to play the corners with deft kicks over the top. The paucity of the Nigerian line-out meant that, more times than not, the home side regained possession with which to launch yet another attack against their visitors.

It was a testament to the commitment of the Nigerian defenders that the first half ended scoreless. The visitors relied on forcing turnovers for a fair chunk of what possession they did manage. In that regard, the two big men Chima Ijeoma & Ossie Omokhodion were exceptional as they joined Maynard Ahukanna in tormenting the Bury pack in broken field play.

The home sides try came mid-way through the second half and was the games opening score, duly converted by their no. 10 for a 7 nil advantage. Nigerian came back strong from this setback, more so when Hanlon returned to the fray. Burys midfield defence was aggressive, not allowing the dangerous Small-Shelleng-Olufunwa triumvirate much room to try to create any dangerous breaks. The visiting pack did force opposition infringements though with Small eventually slotting a penalty in kickable range to reduce the deficit to 7 3.

Shortly after, Ijeoma took a short pass off his fly half and broke through the home defence. His support arrived quickly and the ball was shipped left as Nigerian raced up the pitch. The move was halted by a desperate off-the-ball tackle on Wole Olufunwa, a professional foul that escaped the prescribed ten minute spell in the bin. Small pointed to the sticks and promptly narrowed the score line to 7 6 though his skipper still felt very aggrieved.

Nigerian indiscipline and, perhaps, impatience conceded a kickable penalty late in the game allowing Bury to re-establish their 4-point cushion to the audible relief of their capacity crowd. At 10 6 with less than ten minutes on the clock, Bury demonstrated admirable nous, kicking adroitly for the corners to close out the game.

Man of the Match: Nathan Bond played a very intelligent game wearing the unfamiliar No. 9 shirt, giving his side greater variety in use of the ball.

1. Steve Hanlon

2. Hisham El-Marazki

3. Osahon Omokhodion

4. James Brown

5. Chima Ijeoma

6. Tunde Adeniji (r: Budhathoki 55 63mins)

7. Maynard Ahukanna

8. Jemi Akin-Olugbade

9. Nathan Bond

10. Richard Small

11. Ibi Shelleng

12. Ali Shelleng

13. Wole Olufunwa (C)

14. IK Iroche

15. Ugo Ekeowa

16. Robin Budhathoki

17. Bankie Irele

18. Gareth Howells

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