A brilliant individual goal from Lee Stobbs proved to be the difference between the two sides as Tring Athletic won 1-0 against St Margaretsbury on Saturday.
Athletic had to withstand a second half fight back from Bury, who strained every sinew to get back on level terms, but were thwarted by a resolute home defence.
The crucial moment of the game came 10 minutes before the break when there seemed little danger after Stobbs won the ball in midfield.
However, a burst of pace and close control saw him go past three challenges which took him to the edge of the area where he drilled the ball into the far corner.
It was a superb piece of skill and finishing and was a memorable way for the Athletic wing-back to open his account for the club.
Despite the end of term nature of the game between two mid-table sides it was a surprisingly competitive game.
Five minutes after taking the lead, Athletic came within an inch of doubling it when Ollie Hogg crashed a tremendous 30-yard shot against the woodwork. The second half was a surprising contrast to the first, with the visitors dominating possession and territory, but Athletic having the clearer scoring opportunities.
Twice Chris Vardy lobbed the keeper only to see his efforts just miss the target, while 17-year-old youth team player Joe Naylor came off the bench to make his debut and had two opportunities to score.
With the Athletic back three of Chris Salmon, Toone and Dan Steadman in outstanding form, and the rest of the team working hard in support, Bury were struggling to test home keeper Jack Hopwood.
With 13 minutes left on the clock Ricky Light did manage to get in a fierce shot which Hopwood tipped over, but Athletic held on to their lead and continue their fine end of season run which has seen them win six and draw one of their last eight games.
Athletic have just one league game left, an away fixture at Holmer Green on Tuesday night, before a St Mary’s Cup Final game against Hemel Hempstead on Monday, May 4.
TA: 1 Jack Hopwood, 2 Lee Stobbs, 3 Ryan Sturges, 4 Dan Steadman, 5 Chris Salmon(Capt), 6 Adam Toone 7, Luke Dunstan 8, Ollie Hogg 9, Chris Vardy, 10 Kieran Turner (15 Joe Naylor 75), 11 Greg Deer (14 Taylor Collins 70). Subs not used: 12 Sam Joliffe, 16 Ryan McMahon.
SM: 1 Simon Dent, 2 Ed Horey, 3 Ed Taylor (Capt), 4 Charlie Edwards, 5 Jack Bartlett (17 Harry Spicer 82), 6 Simon Grave-White, 7 Danny Edmee, 8 Danny Charles (15 Phil Lowen 70), 9 Matt Mitchell, 10 Mark Summers (16 Lee Roberts 65), 11 Ricky Light. Subs not used: 12 Steve Barker, 14 Louis Wylie.