Bury Broncos suffered their second consecutive defeat at home to league leaders Widnes Tigers on Saturday.
Despite being down to 12 men for much of the second half following Mike Garside’s sending off, the Broncos were competitive throughout the game, scoring seven tries but could not hold out the Tigers at the other end.
The visitors took an early lead as Bury left too many gaps close to the line but prop Sam Donley hit back in Bury’s first attack to make it 6-4 after eight minutes.
Widnes extended their lead to 12-4 soon after following some more sloppy defending from the home side.
However, three tries in quick succession allowed the Broncos to take control of the game, Garside put in the offload to captain Mark Brocklehurst who dived in at the corner to reduce the gap to four points.
Bury took the lead as Roberts was involved again, this time on the back of some hard drives by the Broncos forwards.
The ball was switched wide to the pacy full-back who got outside his man before offloading to winger Rick Brogan to score out wide. Roberts added the extras for a slender two point advantage.
The hosts extended their lead to 20-12 when Brocklehurst provided the killer pass to centre Joe Galpin who crashed onto the ball before handing off three Widnes defeneders to touch down.
With half time fast approaching Widnes pulled a try back before Bury substitute Jonno Taylor grounded the ball to make it 24-18 at the break.
Bury were defending the hill in the second period and made their job more difficult when Garside saw red five minutes after the restart, as Widnes equalised. The scrum-half was given a straight red for dissent to put his side at a disadvantage.
The 12-man Broncos managed to equalise before Widnes restored their six-point lead from the restart.
The Broncos kept fighting with Brocklehurst getting on the end of Donley’s offload to make it 34-36 with nine minutes remaining.
However it was the vistors who pulled away with two late tries.
The Broncos will be looking to get back to winning ways against Orrell St James this weekend.