Bury and Colchester in play-off hunt

AS the rugby season enters the final two months, an exciting race for the play-off spots in London 1 is developing.

Right in the heart of the battle are Colchester and Bury St Edmunds who stand in third and fourth place respectively. Last weekend Bury overcame their arch rivals Colchester in a rain-drenched match at The Haberden.

This weekend, both sides have home fixtures with Bury entertaining Ruislip and Colchester taking on Thurrock at Mile End Road. Both will be seeking to perform the double to maintain their status.

In National League 3, Diss travel to West London to face Barnes with the Norfolk side now facing up to the realities of the league table and with one eye on rebuilding for next season.

Diss are positioned 15 points adrift at the foot of the table but showed enough spirit and passion in last week’s defeat against North Walsham to suggest hope for next season.

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Looking more at the here and now, the Diss coaching team have for once a fairly settled squad to pick from with very few injuries.

All three Suffolk sides in London 2 are on the road this weekend facing challenging opposition.

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Fresh from their win in the Beccles bog last time around, Ipswich, now under the chairmanship of the evergreen Roy Holloway, travel to North London where Enfield Ignatians will be their hosts. Sudbury visit fourth placed Chelmsford and Beccles are at Canvey Island.

Proudly positioned in third place in London 3, Newmarket have a home match against neighbours Wisbech. Meanwhile, relegation-threatened Mersea Island face a difficult encounter with fourth placed Norwich.

The Islanders began the season well with two victories but have since slumped and are nine points beneath their nearest rivals.

Stowmarket, second in Eastern Counties 1, travel to Woodbridge who have not won at home this year. The promotion contenders will be anxious to take advantage in their drive for promotion.

Harwich and Dovercourt, who have acquitted themselves well in their first ever season in this league, entertain Ely in a mid-table clash and Southwold host Norfolk rivals Holt in what is expected to be an entertaining game.

In Eastern Counties 2, league leaders Ipswich YM’s magnificent home record - averaging 50 points per match - could face a test this weekend when they meet a Hadleigh side which has improved in recent weeks and will certainly not be a walkover.

Felixstowe are at Dereham and Mistley travel with confidence to Mildenhall. This is the first season of Eastern Counties rugby for the Eagles from west Suffolk and they have found the going tough.

In the Essex Canterbury Jack League 1, mid-table Clacton are at Billericay and Brightlingsea have a hard game at third placed Millwall.

With the lengthening hours of daylight all games will kick off at 3pm.

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