Bury St Edmunds look to start 2019 like they ended 2018 – with a bang!

Cameron Ritchie, who clinched victory for Bury with a successful last kick-of-the-game penalty again

Cameron Ritchie, who clinched victory for Bury with a successful last kick-of-the-game penalty against Old Albanians, will play fly-half at Guernsey today. Picture: SHAWN PEARCH PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds signed off 2018 in style, by winning three of their four matches during December and clinching their last victory thanks to Cameron Ritchie’s last kick of the game in a 24-22 win over Old Albanians.

Now Nick Wakley’s improving side face a big trip to Guernsey, to kick-off 2019, hoping to continue their good run at a club who are currently in the bottom three of National League Two South.

However, head coach Wakley is expecting a tough challenge against a Guernsey side who boast a big pack, and who have been unlucky to lose several of their home matches by a very small margins.

“Guernsey are improving, and they have recruited. They have a good back row and a strong pack,” explained Wakley, before the Wolfpack’s departure for Guernsey yesterday. “It will be a different brand of rugby from what we are used to, and it will be a real challenge.

“Even though they are struggling near the bottom, Guernsey have the fourth highest number of bonus points in our division. They have lost a lot of tight home games, by just a score.

“But we will be hoping to put our game-plan into play. We have been operating with more width, using both wings.

“Beating Old Albanians just before Christmas was a nice little bonus. I thought we thoroughly deserved that win. We were strong in defence, and clinical at times.

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“I also think we can improve on that. We won with the last kick of the game, but that kick did not change what was I going to say to the boys after the match. Win or lose, this was a good performance.

“Old Albanians tried to pin us back, and wait for us to make mistakes, but we were strong and shrewd with our exit strategies.

“Now we face a big month ahead, starting with Guernsey before we play three teams who are above us in the league (Barnes, Rams and Tonbridge Juddians).

“Three of those four games during January are away from home as well, so it will be a good test for us,” added Wakley, who has 10 players unavailable for this weekend’s trip.

BURY: Hill, Torpey, Cooper, Graham, Scholes, Bixby, Grey, Browne. Affleck, Ritchie, Bodkin, Leng, Kohler, Sharp, Johnson. Replacements: Wilson, Davis, Smith, Limlei, Nel, Pettitt.

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