SEDGLEY Tigers took a huge step towards playing in the National Two play-off as they mauled Chester last Saturday.

The Tigers scored eight tries to claim a 48-5 win at Park Lane and more good news was to follow when they got back into the dressing room.

Coach Geoff Roberts feels Macclesfield are beyond reach but the runners-up go into a one-off showdown for promotion to National One.

Sedgley are currently second and their nearest rivals all lost on Saturday, giving the Tigers more breathing space.

And Sedgley still have two games in hand on the three sides below them – Leicester Lions, Stourbridge and Caldy – one of which is Saturday’s home match against fourth-bottom Sandal.

“It was a comfortable win and it puts pressure on the three teams below us,” said Roberts. “They all lost so we opened up a seven-point gap.

“We play another of our catch-up games this weekend so if we can pull off another win when others aren’t playing then it could open it up to 11 or 12 points.

“Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the rain and as the pitches get better it tends to suit us, but unless Macclesfield really slip up then we’re not going to catch them.

“We can’t be sure of second place yet though. We’ve still got to go to Caldy, which will be very tough, and we’ve got Macclesfield here.

“Even games like Broadstreet away, it may appear that teams like that aren’t playing well but they’re still tough to beat on their own soil.”

A storming start set Sedgley on course to Saturday’s win, with the Tigers 29-0 up inside 31 minutes after tries by Curtis Strong, Andy Riley, Sam Lowthian and Juan Crous (two).

Sedgley were awarded a penaty try just after half time before Lowthian touched down again on the hour mark.

And although Chester cut the deficit with eight minutes left, Shaun Manley claimed the game’s final try.

“We played that well and put that much pressure on it was hard to keep up,” said Roberts. “When you put a really good performance together like that, it’s strange how easy it can seem, so I was really pleased with it.

“We could have probably scored a couple more tries early doors but fluffed them.

“But once we were in our stride we were scoring at nearly a point a minute.

“Chester are a good side but they just couldn’t get into the game. They had a 10-minute spell in the second half where they came back at us and stretched it from touchline to touchline.

“But our defence kept them out so we played well across the board. It was a good all-round performance.”

Sedgley’s injury list is now clearing up too. Johnny Mathews (hooker), Ben Black (prop) and Bob Birtwell (second row) all returned last Saturday.

Matt Riley could be back in the centres against Sandal, with Rob Holloway set to continue at fly-half.

“We lost Steve Collins and Chris Wilkinson to injury but Rob has switched from full-back and he’s slotted in nicely at 10,” Roberts added.

“He’s doing really well but we could soon have everyone back to their normal positions.”