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Bury St Edmunds enjoy memorable trip to Guernsey with two victories

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It turned into the perfect weekend in Guernsey for Bury St Edmunds as a depleted Wolfpack followed up the second XV’s earlier win to keep them in the hunt for chasing down a record club finish.

The 20-15 victory saw the Suffolk side become only the fourth side in National League 2 South to claim victory at their Channel Islands ground from their 11 home matches.

An early penalty try was added to by a Charlie Reed penalty and a Cairan Leeson try as they went into the interval leading 17-12.

Ciaran Leeson was selected as Bury's Player of the Match at Guernsey. Picture: Mecha Morton
Ciaran Leeson was selected as Bury's Player of the Match at Guernsey. Picture: Mecha Morton

Another Reed penalty extended their advantage before Guernsey were restricted to just one penalty reply of their own.

It saw Bury bounce back from their 38-32 home defeat to title-chasing Redruth and leaves them in seventh place and two points off Leicester Lions who occupy what would be a record-equalling sixth-place finish.

The second team had kicked things off for the club last Friday with their 29-19 league victory over St Jaxques Vikings coming shortly before the first-team’s evening match.

It certainly delighted head coach and director of rugby Jacob Ford, who had limited options for selection, with it being re-scheduled fixtures following Covid concerns postponing the original pre-Christmas trip.

“I think it was the manner in which we did it (which was most pleasing). We just rolled up our sleeves, and did the things we said we were going to do,” he said.

“It was a great experience for the squad and it was a brilliant performance.

“We didn’t give them a lot of opportunities to score points which was probably the best thing we did throughout the game and then when we had a couple of opportunities we were pretty ruthless.

“Cairan Leeson got player of the week and he was outstanding, particularly the way he took his try.

“It was one of those games where we were just really efficient in terms of coming out of our own half and ultimately it put a lot of pressure on them.”

He also revealed they hope to get their second team playing more regular competitive fixtures against other first team sides next season.

He said: “They’re doing okay, they just need more games, that’s been the frustrating thing and hopefully the RFU allowing second teams to go in first-team leagues (from next season) we can jump on the back of that and try and have a competitive season.

“We’re not sure which league at the minute, we have applied to go into first-team leagues but we’re just waiting to hear back. A lot of teams have applied so hopefully our application will be successful.”

The Wolfpack travel across the country to Bristol for tomorrow’s 2.30pm kick-off against fourth-placed Clifton looking to continue the upturn in away form.

“I think Clifton are a fantastic team and they showed at our place how physical they can be, especially around the breakdown,” said Ford.

“They have got a little bit to play for as well, they have a chance of going up so they’ll be fired up and wanting to put in a big performance.

“But I think if we stick to what we’ve been working on the last couple of weeks and keep our discipline we’ll have a chance to compete with them.”

Joe Green (knee) and captain Matt Bursey (ankle) will miss out with knocks but Ollie Watson, Shaq Meyers, Yasin Browne and Fin McCartney are all back available.