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Orrell St James 23 Bury Broncos 14
4:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in Sport
BURY Broncos have not given up hope of promotion from North West Men’s League Division Four despite a narrow defeat in the end-of-season play-off semi-finals.
The Broncos finished the regular season in fourth place and narrowly missed out on a spot in the grand final after pushing league winners Orrell all the way.
They must now wait on the outcome of a structural review of the league, which could see the club, based at Phillips High School, moved up to the third tier.
Whatever happens, they should be proud of a season that has seen them claim their first ever silverware – the Rochdale and District Cup.
Other highlights include racking up 102 points in a single game against Mancunians and recording a rare victory over Orrell – one of only two defeats suffered by the league winners all season.
They very nearly repeated the trick on the Wigan side’s home turf on Saturday, with the final result in doubt right up until an Orrell drop kick at the death.
The Broncos dominated the opening exchanges but only managed to put two points on the board through a penalty and conceded two late tries to go into the break 12-2 down.
After conceding a raft of penalties in the opening half, the Broncos put in a much more disciplined display in the second 40 minutes and quickly got themselves back in the game.
A high Sam Fairhurst kick was allowed to bounce and Chris Radford seized the ball before slipping in Michael Garside to score.
Neil Shackloth added the extras to put Bury back within four points.
A defensive mistake by Bury 15 minutes from time let Orrell off the hook as they extended their lead back to 10 points But the Broncos hit back straight away using a training ground play from the kick off.
They hoisted the ball high and short from the kick off with full back Blake Roberts, the shortest player on the field, sprinting through and jumping above his opposite number.
Rick West then charged at an angle on to a short ball and scored to bring the Broncos back to 18-14 down - a margin that was extended when Orrell added a furher late try before rounding off the scoring with a drop goal.