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Burton RFC v Old Laurentians: Match preview

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

Josh Cartwright

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JOSH Cartwright is eager to help Burton RFC to promotion in the final five games of the season after what he admits has been a “miracle recovery” from injury.

The Crofters skipper was subbed off early in the match against Lichfield in February after suffering ankle ligament damage, and it was feared he could be out for the rest of the campaign.

But just three games later, he returns to the squad as Burton look to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat to promotion rivals Hereford with a home game against Old Laurentians at Peel Croft tomorrow, kick-off 3pm.

“It was an ankle sprain, with a suspected small fracture, so we feared the worse,” said Cartwright.

“But that wore off, it’s all gone well and it’s been something off a miracle recovery, considering how it first looked.

“It’s just healed really quickly.”

In his absence, Burton had consolidated second place in Midlands One West, but lost to third-placed Hereford last weekend to leave their hopes of claiming a promotion play-off spot looking less secure than it was.

“There’s a hell of a lot at stake now, and we’ve got to knuckle down and get stuck in,” said Cartwright.

“If we had applied ourselves for 80 minutes then we could have beaten Hereford, but we switched off.

“In terms of ability, we are above both them and (fourth-placed) Walsall, but everyone will be heaping the pressure on now.

“We got the bonus point late on, and they didn’t get their four-try bonus point, which took the wind out of their sails.

“That could make a big difference come the end of the season.”

Tomorrow’s visitors are 11th in the table, and though Burton beat them on the road earlier in the season, Cartwright is not expecting an easy ride.

“They were quite a difficult team to break down,” the young skipper recalled.

“They know how to shut a game down, but I look forward to playing them as it will be a good test for me.”

Dave Archer (knee) will be missing again, while Matthew Boden and Damon Varney are also likely to drop out, but Harry Titley returns along with Jon Parkinson and Will Brooks.

Joe Gazzard should drop to the replacements bench alongside Cartwright.

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