AFTER dogged defence from both sides, it was Bury Broncos who opened the scoring with Mark Brocklehurst punching over in the corner to lead 4-0.

The windy conditions made for difficult handling and passing but it wasn’t long before the Accrington Panthers were level and a powerful conversion edged them in front 6-4.

The game was error-strewn with both sides conceding cheap possession in their own 25 on too many occasions and it was down to the strong defences that the score remained low.

The Broncos would eventually capitalise, a pass finding the returning Blake Roberts who put Bury back in front.

Taking the lead into the half-time interval, the Broncos were looking to kick on, but instead left themselves a mountain to climb after a slow start.

Some sensible play in the conditions saw Panthers simply complete their sets and steadily increase their lead.

Bury, however, were determined not to roll over and Joe Wilkinson crossed the line to pull the score back to 24-14.

The Broncos pressed hard and looked like making an unlikely comeback.

Sean Kelly quickly fed the ball through to Roberts, who looked to have scored in the corner, only for the Panthers sliding defence to make it across to cover.

With time running out, Bury continued to throw everything at it, seeing themselves over the whitewash to bring the score back within four points only for the referee to disallow the try for a forward pass.

This lifted the Panthers again and it was the home side who finished the game by scoring in the corner.

The A team enjoyed a better day when they entertained Culcheth Eagles, managing to run out worthy winners despite a couple of late call ups to the first team.

Encouragingly, seven of the starting 13 were aged 20 or under, however the flip side of this saw the bigger Culcheth side give them a physical and close run game until late on.

The Broncos were the first to score when Reece Bottomley finished a handling move and the home side dominated the opening 15 minutes.

However, some silly penalties gave Culcheth the field position to score under the posts to lead 6-4.

Despite some valiant Broncos defence at times, Culcheth took full advantage of playing down the slope in scoring twice more to give them a 12-point lead at half time.

However, Bury A turned the game around well in the second half with a good performance from start to finish. First to score was Bottomley who finished under the sticks after some good offloading before Ryan Latham went in on the back of a great Steve Critchley break to level the scores at 16-16 thanks to two Grant Carr kicks.

Bottomley scored a great individual try, breaking tackles to complete his hat-trick before Liam Sixsmith scored arguably the best of the game.

Culcheth scored to make it 26-20, but Aaron Phillips got his first score to extend Bury’s lead.

Will Spencer scored twice and a try by Carr was also converted as Broncos won 42-20.

Despite giving a well-drilled Hindley side a scare, the visiting Bury Broncos Under-18s lost 30-24 on Saturday.