Victory at leaders could kick-start play-off charge

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BURY St Edmunds are hoping victory at runaway London One North leaders Westcliff could kick-start a charge for the play-offs.

The Haberden-based outfit, who need to finish second to earn a promotion clash against the runners-up of London One South at the end of the season, travel to Essex tomorrow (2.15pm).

Bury are just seven points behind second-placed Sidcup with eight matches to play, but it will be a tough ask for them to topple a Westcliff side that has lost just one of 19 league clashes so far this season.

Bury head coach Roger Coombs said: “If we can beat the top of the league and then not lose for the rest of the season, it will give the rest of the league something to think about.”

The last time the two sides met, back on October 30, Bury should have gained victory, but they were defeated by a single point when Kiwi fly-half Brentan Krammer missed a conversion late in the game.

The usually unflappable New Zealander could be in line for a return to the starting line-up after recovering from a broken rib, while forwards Kingsley Lang, Charlie Birrell and Isaac Helu, as well as centres Naka and John Warmsley, were also due to be assessed at training last night ahead of tomorrow’s big match.

“Although I didn’t see the reverse fixture, I do think we are playing better now than we were back then,” said Coombs. “I think we can give them a good game and beat them.”

A 53-13 success over Tabard on Saturday – Bury’s third half-century haul in six matches since the turn of the year – lifted the Suffolk side to fifth in the table, two points behind third-placed Chingford and fourth-placed Colchester, and a further five behind Sidcup in second.

“A lot of the top clubs still have to play each other,” added Coombs. “We’ve got no control on what they do so all we have to do is keep on winning.”