Semi-final a bridge too Farr for Sedge as Bury progress
by Bill Marshall, T&A Sports Reporter
TWO crucial tries from wingman John Farr earned Queensbury a berth in the Jack Senior Memorial Bradford Cup final after a fierce encounter against Odsal Sedbergh at Hill Top.
The look of disbelief on the face of prop forward Andy Senior said it all as Bury put the ball to ground at every opportunity in the opening exchanges of the semi-final.
Then Sedbergh used the slope in their favour to mount a series of speedy attacks to set up the chance for second-row forward Luke Dawson to cut inside and sprint to the whitewash.
Full back Shaun Flynn hit the crossbar with his conversion attempt before it was back to the usual fare of poor handling as both sides struggled to overcome the glue-pot conditions.
Farr came close to touching down a loose ball in the corner and Sedge centre Josh Tordoff was a fingertip away from collecting a spill from a high bomb with chances at a premium.
Sedge had a chance to extend their lead when they were awarded a penalty but Dawson sent the chance wide.
Bury, trailing 4-0, started the second half by spreading the ball wide and a ricochet from the head of Flynn fell into the welcoming arms of Farr, who dived over in the corner.
Referee Bob Ingham needed eyes in the back of his head as the fists flew thick and fast and his patience finally expired when a melee erupted, resulting in Sedge loose forward Kris Fawthrop and Bury second row Jack Evison receiving their marching orders for punching.
Another late head-high shot led to Odsal packman Josh Briggs going into the sin bin before the game of rugby resumed when the wily Senior worked the ball to the blindside to put Farr en route to his brace at the flag.
Bury marksman Joe Walker added the touchline conversion, and home hopes were further raised and then dashed when Jonny Norman just failed to reach a charge down.
The arm wrestle finally reached a conclusion when Bury substitute Andy Walker produced a pick and go from acting half to cross at the side of the posts to leave his namesake Joe with the simple task of adding the extra two.