The Under 15s travelled to Chorley on Sunday, a combination of injuries and last minute drop outs leaving them with just 10 men. To their credit the lads unanimously decided to play with 10 rather than concede the points and play with even teams.
The team were under no illusions that it would be a difficult task against an 18 man Chorley outfit, and, after a strong opening set with ball in hand, were reminded of the size of the challenge when the Panthers scored 2 tries in quick succession, followed by a third mid way through the half. The Broncos fought back though, tireless defence from Charley Hughes and winger turned loose forward Ed Johnson limiting the impact of the Chorley pack. Bury now looked the stronger of the two sides and, with around 10 minutes to go in the first half, got on the scoreboard when the ball was worked wide to winger Nathan Saddler who, in only his second game, ran 50 metres along the touchline, outpacing the cover to score in the corner. The try was converted by Anthony Jenkinson and followed up by more gritty defence to take the sides in at half time at 18-6.
The undermanned Broncos could have been forgiven for letting fatigue get the better of them in the second half, however this wasn't the case. The Bury side throwing their bodies in front of some committed Chorley attack, repelling the Panthers time and again with inspirational efforts from Bradley Sedman and try saving tackles from Nathan Saddler and Dan Rothwell. The Chorley side did eventually get over the line to take the scores to 22-6 but the Broncos hit back, strong runs from Cian Kenny and Ryan Kaye providing the field position for Charlie Hughes to crash over from close range, again converted by Jenkinson, 22-12. At this point Chorley looked worried, however after weathering further Bury attacks they were able to mount some pressure of their own, only to be denied again by yet more resilient defence. Eventually though fatigue took it's toll on the 10 men of Bury, Chorley going over on the last play of the game to extend their lead to a somewhat flattering 26-12.
Whilst it is of course disappointing to go into a game with just 10 players the performance of those who did take the field was nothing short remarkable and goes to show the potential in the side. The players should be well aware that with a regular full complement of players they can challenge the top end of the table next season. Focus now goes to finishing the season strongly. Bury now rely on another result to go their way to retain the Silver Salver, but can put themselves in position to capitalise by winning their remaining 3 games, starting with a home fixture against Cadishead Rhinos in two weeks time.