The Shakers confirmed their return to Sky Bet League One at the first time of asking, after a 1-1 draw with Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. The hosts took an early lead, but after the break Bury threw everything at Micky Mellon's side, and Danny Mayor's second half goal clinched automatic promotion with a game to spare!
Ryan Lowe named an unchanged starting eleven from his side's 3-1 victory last time out, when Northampton Town visited the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane.
The Shakers came close to taking the lead inside the opening three minutes from a corner. The ball was whipped in, and Wharton met it, heading wide after a slight deflection.
Five minutes later there was another chance for Bury, as some slick link-up play on the right allowed O'Shea to test Davies. The rebound fell to Nicky Adams, who saw a curled effort over the bar.
The hosts took the lead shortly after. A corner was swung in towards the prolific James Norwood; he directed his header into the ground, and despite Murphy's best efforts, the ball snuck over the line for the opening goal of the game.
Bury looked for an instant response, something they've been so good at all season. Danny Mayor displayed some trademark wizardry to cut onto his right foot, however his effort was too tame to give Davies any real problems.
James Norwood looked certain to add another when a smart spin left him one-on-one with Murphy. Thankfully for the Shakers, the PFA League Two Goalkeeper of the Season was on hand to keep him out.
The visitors went straight up the other end, with Nicky Adams finding himself in plenty of space. His delivery eventually found Dom Telford, who guided an effort beyond Scott Davies, but also past the post.
Conner Jennings beat the offside trap before working the ball goalward. He opted to go alone, flashing an effort wide of Murphy's post.
Just before the break, Dom Telford tried to level the scores. He turned away from a couple of defenders before he fired over the bar from twenty-five yards.
There was a chance for the Shakers in time added on. Danny Mayor played the ball out to Chris Stokes, who saw his cross beyond everyone. Thankfully, Nicky Adams swept up, but Dom Telford couldn't head towards goal as the first half drew to a close.
HALF-TIME: Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Bury
A brilliant start to the second period saw Jay O'Shea give Scott Davies something to think about. He unleashed the strike after a smart one-two with Nicky Maynard, but Davies was able to push the ball away from danger.
Ryan Lowe's men continued to push, and with only five minutes gone since the restart, Tranmere had plenty to think about. After a few efforts were blocked by the defenders, the ball was worked out to the wing, and back into the area. Nicky Maynard glanced a header beyond Scott Davies, but onto the inside of the post. Tranmere were then able to clear the ball and with it, the danger.
The Tranmere 'keeper was in fine form, this time keeping out Dom Telford. Danny Mayor found Bury's number eighteen, who sold the defender with a smart first touch. He then unleashed a vicious strike which wasn't quite able to beat Scott Davies.
The Shakers got their reward for the impressive start to the second half. Danny Mayor saw a cross into the middle blocked but rebound back to him. He made no mistake, lifting the ball over Scott Davies from a tight angle.
Tranmere came close to an instant response. A second ball into the box found Norwood, who turned his man, firing on target from close range. Joe Murphy was on hand to show his credentials, pulling off a point-blank stop to keep the game on level terms.
The scores remained level as we entered the final twenty minutes, with the point being enough to see Ryan Lowe guide his side to an immediate return to Sky Bet League One in his first season in charge.
Bury were inches away from the goal that would put them into the lead. Danny Mayor and Chris Stokes linked up on the left, before the latter drilled a low ball into the middle, where Caolan Lavery was agonisingly close from making enough contact to finish.
After four minutes of added time, referee David Webb blew the final whistle, sending the Shakers' faithful behind the goal into raptures as promotion was confirmed!
FULL-TIME: Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Bury
Tranmere Rovers: Davies (GK) (C), Ridehalgh, Nelson, Monthe, Harris, Norwood, Jennings, Caprice (73' Buxton), Morris, Pringle (82' Mullin), Banks
Unused Subs: Pilling (GK), McNulty, Perkins, Gilmour, Dagnall
Bury: Murphy (GK), Stokes, Aimson (39' O'Connell), Thompson, Adams (C), Mayor, Rossiter (Danns '86), Telford (73 Lavery), Wharton, O'Shea, Maynard
Unused Subs: Moloney (GK), Moore, McFadzean, Omotayo, Danns