Bury St. Edmunds 25-25 Henley Hawks
This was a game Henley really should have won after building a ten point lead with some 15 minutes to go, and it looked as if a bonus point victory was on the cards.
The first half was a pretty hectic affair with neither side really gaining control in any phase of the game. However Henley were the more inventive and went close to scoring on a couple of occasions but a resolute home defence held firm.
Henley were disrupted at the beginning of the game as Guy Rawsthorn pulled a hamstring in the warm up and was replaced early on by Will Panday. In addition, a nasty injury to scrum half Will Crow after some 25 minutes meant another reshuffle as Reuben Norville went to scrum half.
Bury were first up on the score sheet with a penalty after ten minutes but Henley were quick to reply with a penalty from Cail Cookland. Much of the play took place in the middle of the field although Bury did create a try from a driving maul to take a eight point to three lead.
It was clear that if Henley could secure some quality ball they would cause some issues outside. This was the case right on the stroke of half time as the ball was moved wide to Alex Harmes in the centre and some strong running saw the centre score his eighth try of the season in the corner unfortunately the conversion fell just short.
The second half continued much as the first with neither side able to really dominate. However, a turnover ball well inside the Bury half was cleverly picked on by Sam Lunnon. The Henley skipper ran with pace and guile to avoid would be tacklers before making the final pass to Alex Harmes for the centre to score wide out.
Unfortunately Bury were quick to reply with a try of their own from some powerful running of their forwards who were starting to gain the upper hand in the scrums. With the scores locked at 13 a piece Henley now had their best phase of the afternoon as they created a number of promising attacking opportunities. From one such move a penetrating run from James Davies saw the centre cross close to the posts for a well taken try. With the successful conversion and a well taken penalty some ten minutes later Henley had established a ten point lead.
However the visitors were beginning to struggle at the scrums and this allowed Bury back into the game with another driving maul which was converted , and further pressure saw Henley caught offside in front of the posts and Bury were able to level the scores.
The final ten minutes was a fairly frantic affair with both sides having chances to push for the bonus point win but the visitors had to be content with two league points and remain in fifth place in National 2.
On a positive note this game marked the return of Will Bordill after several months away from the game.
Henley: Rawsthorn, Norville, Davies, Harmes, Wood, Cookland, Crow, Cook, Emery, Mason, Lunnon, Harrison, Hall, Scott, Bradley
Reps Adejemi, Frostick, Bordill, Butler, Panday.