It would be a ‘massive ask’ but Bury St Edmunds could still threaten the top two
PUBLISHED: 12:52 09 November 2017
Bury St Edmunds head coach, Ollie Smith, has not ruled out the possibility of chasing down the top two in the National League Two South this season.
However Smith, in his first season at the helm at The Haberden, admits that it will be a “massive ask” for the Wolfpack to feature strongly in a promotion race during the second half of the campaign.
Bury recorded their third victory on the bounce, and their seventh from 10 league fixtures, with a battling 37-19 win over visiting Clifton on Saturday, cementing their sixth spot in the table.
They are level on points with Redruth, but 10 points behind Cinderford, who currently occupy the promotion play-off place in second, and 12 points adrift of leaders Chinnor.
“The top two are not completely out of touching distance,” insisted Smith.
“We want to aim high, and we are continuing to make progress, though obviously it’s going to be a massive ask to get up near the top two.
“If you want to be successful, then you have to win rugby matches. So far we have only played one of the top four teams, Taunton at home, which means we have to play the other three twice and Taunton once.
“Win all of them and of course we will be up there, so the top two are not out of touch, especially as we lost two games in a row which we could have won, against Redruth and Taunton.
“That would have seen us with just one defeat at this stage, so we are not far off it. I’m satisfied with the way that we’ve been progressing, and hopefully we have still got more to give, though I don’t know how much more.
“We might already be at our best now, who knows?
“But in recent games we have shown more, in terms of attitude, physicality, tempo, and an ability to come back from the brink.
“I can’t knock the lads, even though there are a few disappointed bodies in the squad who think they should be getting more game-minutes,” added Smith.
Bury ran in five tries against a very physical Clifton side last weekend. Will Scholes and Dwayne Corcoran both scored tries in the first half, while Chris Lord scored twice and club stalwart Chris Snelling bagged the other try.
The Suffolk hosts had to play with 14 men for long periods of the game, with three players spending time in the bin for yellow cards – Liam McBride, Scholes and Sam Bixby – so it was a great effort from the Wolfpack.
Bury are away at Henley Hawks this Saturday. Henley won at previous leaders Taunton last weekend.