SEDGLEY Tigers are just two points from clinching a place in the National Two play-off despite suffering another defeat last weekend.

Sedgley travelled to the Wirral to face Caldy, one of the three sides who can still deny them a second-placed finish.

And Caldy kept their slim hopes alive by winning 34-19, scoring five tries to three as the Tigers slipped to a second straight defeat.

However, Sedgley actually moved within touching distance of securing the National Two North's runners-up spot as their nearest rivals, Stourbridge, suffered a surprise 23-10 loss at home to lowly Sale.

“We were disappointed to lose but it was probably the worst it's been for players missing,” said coach Geoff Roberts. “We had seven or eight out.

“But I suppose one way of looking at it is that we went into the weekend needing seven points to finish in second place and we came out of it needing just two.

“From that respect, we're actually better off, and we have several players coming back this week.”

Sedgley have been struggling with injury problems for weeks and just 10 minutes in at Caldy, fly-half Chris Wilkinson broke a bone in his hand.

The Tigers still managed to take the lead through Danny Waddy's 19th-minute try, only for Caldy to level five minutes later.

The hosts crossed twice more to lead 17-5 at half-time and although Wilkinson had soldiered on, he made way at the break, with Paul Urmston a makeshift replacement at number 10.

With Caldy having a man in the sin-bin at the start of the second half, Sedgley took advantage on 47 minutes as Matt Lamprey scored a converted try.

But Caldy touched down just two minutes later and kicked a penalty before scoring another converted try on 65 minutes.

Sedgley cut the deficit with seven minutes remaining as Andy Riley's try was converted by his brother Matt, but Roberts was not too disheartened by the result.

“It was even stevens until about 25 minutes but the injury to Chris Wilkinson meant we couldn't really play the way we wanted to,” he said.

“It was a tough game, as we expected. Caldy threw everything at us but we kept playing until the end so I've got to give credit to the squad for that.

“Since Christmas we've had players picking up all sorts of injuries but the players that have replaced them have done a great job.

“They've all proved they are worthy of being first-team players and have kept us in second place.”

Sedgley now have three games of the regular season remaining and face Preston Grasshoppers in their final home match this Saturday.

Steve Collins, Rob Holloway, Shaun Manley, Ben Lloyd and Max Ashcroft should all be back in contention as the Tigers aim to seal second spot.

“We came out of the Caldy game desperate to bring players back in and it's fantastic we're now going to be able to do that,” Roberts added.

“We want to finish the season on a high considering we've lost the last two and I hope we can get the two points we need this Saturday but it's always tough against Preston.”