BURY travelled to Windermere on Saturday in search of the win that would all but secure their place in North Lancs One, but left just five points above their Cumbrian rivals, who sit second bottom in the final relegation spot.
Windermere came out of their blocks quickest, nearly scoring after just two minutes, and had Bury on the ropes for the rest of the first half.
They eventually opened their account in the ninth minute, taking advantage of poor Bury to touch down under the posts, making the conversion a formality.
Possession was at a premium for the visitors, who were continually out-muscled in the scrum.
Bury’s first serious attempt in the 24th minute saw a kick from the three-quarter line charged down, leaving their defence flat-footed as Windermere broke away with the ball to score an unconverted try.
They did, however, manage to cut the arrears to 12-5 in the dying minutes of the first half when Rob Plant fed Chris Potts to drive over the line for a try, which Bury failed to convert.
The home side defended well after the break though and added a penalty to increase their lead.
Windermere then held out with the help of the referee, who ruled out two Bury tries, deeming the ball was held up on both occasions.
Bury, who now need at least one win in their final three matches of the season to avoid relegation, entertain eighth-placed Garstang on Saturday, kick off 3pm.