Bury Broncos A suffered their second defeat of the season away to Buxton Bulls.
The Broncos were out-fought, out-muscled and out-played by a powerful Buxton side, playing their first competitive fixture on Saturday.
Tries either side of half time from Callum Donaldson and Danny Kelly weren’t enough for Bury who, despite the disappointing result, remain top of the merit league.
The visitors started on the front foot as Buxton knocked on from the opening kick off in wet and windy conditions. Bury could not capitalise on their early field position, however, as a combination of individual errors and strong defence saw the home side hold out.
The Bulls were ahead soon after, although their opening try had an element of luck about it. Jay McGuigan chipped the ball over on the last tacke but rather than bouncing, the ball was stranded in a puddle on the field, wrong-footing Bury full-back Kelly, allowing McGuigan to cross under the sticks and convert his own try.
The Broncos defence was struggling to contain Buxton, whose captain Tom Bell drove right through the heart of Bury’s defence to extend his side’s lead to 10-0.
Buxton continued to dominate as McGuigan stepped through three defenders for his second try to give the hosts a 20-0 lead.
Bury had the last say of the half as the impressive Donaldson scored a well-deserved try, showing great strength to power through two defenders and touch down. Chris Ready converted to reduce the deficit to 20-6 at the break.
The Broncos came out firing in the second half but their early promise was cut short when Ben Austin scored five minutes into the second half.
A close range effort from Simeon Meek extended the Bulls lead and Dan Hay rounded off the Buxton scoring outpacing Bury’s despairing defenders from inside his own half.
The Broncos kept fighting and after several sets on the Buxton line the pressure finally told as the ball was worked wide to Kelly to stroll over for a consolation try.