Bury travelled to Halton to take part in the first North West Men's League Nines. This was meant to involve all the teams from the six divisions of the league, split into two groups of games - split between Halton and St Pats. The Broncos were scheduled to be in a group kicking off at 3.05 but on arrival found they were in a group who's games kicked off at 2.45 due to drop outs. This meant one player who had been working late would miss the first game. As the team had travelled with only 12 men (15 man squads being allowed) this left the team with only 11 men for the first game, against Higginshaw.
Bury were always in control of this one; Sean Kelly scoring the first try and then converting it for 6 -0. Kelly then provided the final pass to send in Garry Kabamba for the second to send the broncos in 10-0 at the break. In the second half Kelly was the provider again this time for Abdou Radwan who went in at the corner for 14-0. Higginshaw then got a well deserved try to make it 14-6 before a superb handling move involving several players saw Jonathon Taylor selflessly put Abdou Radwan in for his second, when he could easily have scored himself - the score finishing 18 -6 for the Broncos. Higginshaw then played and beat Rochdale Mayfield A, leaving the final game between Bury and Mayfield.
Bury opened the scoring when a inside ball from Kelly to Matt fish saw the big forward run 30 meters to score, goaled by Kelly for 6-0. Mayfield hit back to make it 6-4 ,before an individual effort from Sean Kelly which he goaled made it 12- 4 at half time. The score remained like this till the last couple of minutes before the Bronco, perhaps a little over confidently, threw out a loose pass in their own half with Rochdale scoring on the resulting set for 12-8. The game finished well into injury time when Mayfield scored again to take the game 12-14. This was not enough however to rob Bury, who had been the best team in the group, from qualifying on points difference for the finals.
Some great performances today from everyone, not least from Liam Owen who turned out for yet another farewell performance; Matt Fish, who's defence was outstanding; Abdou Radwan, who made a couple of outstanding try saving tackles as well as scoring two; Si Brown, who as it turned out made the journey from Bolton for just one game; Mike Carter, who pulled in at short notice despite family issues; Steve Critchley, who played on his wife's birthday; Paul Kynaston, who rolled back the years with his strong running and Danny Kelly who worked tirelessly at hooker. In short as ever this was a great team effort. The Broncos now go on to the knock out stages at Rochdale Mayfield and on today's showing can travel with confidence. They will however need a few more players to fill the squad as the finals will be a much tougher proposition.
Updated 15:29 - 12 Aug 2018 by Daniel Kelly