SEDGLEY Park made back ground on National Two North leaders Stourbridge after capitalising on their defeat at Sheffield Tigers with a 43-30 victory at home to Wharfedale on Saturday.

After falling to a narrow defeat at the table-toppers the previous weekend, Sedgley’s general manager Geoff Roberts predicted their title rivals would drop points during a run of matches against the division’s top teams.

And so it proved, with the Midlanders losing 20-14 in South Yorkshire.

Stourbridge face another tough test this weekend, hosting fifth-placed Sale, and Roberts is keen for his side to “squeeze” a win at Chester to keep up the pressure on their rivals.

“I have been saying for a while, I don’t think there is anything in this title race and Saturday’s results proved that,” he said, after Stourbridge’s nine-match winning start to the season finally came to an end.

“After Sale on Saturday, Stourbridge have matches at South Leicester, at home to Tynedale and away to Hinkley to follow. They are all teams in the top six.

“So if we can somehow squeeze a win at Chester and keep up the pressure with good results against Blaydon and Huddersfield in our next two games then all of a sudden the table could be back on an even keel.”

Sedgley are fourth in the table, on 38 points, just a point behind Tynedale and Hinkley, in second and third, and eight points off top spot.

They have proved to be the division’s entertainers so far this season, amassing 10 bonus points, matched only by Stourbridge, following a string of high-scoring performances.

The Tigers added another seven tries to their tally at the weekend. But they also have the worst defensive record of any team in the top half, conceding just six points fewer than basement club Wharfedale, whose 30 points at Park Lane on Saturday is 20 per cent of their haul for the season.

Roberts admits his coaching staff are looking into ways of tightening up at the back, but is not about to start reining in his side’s attacking instincts.

“There was never a time on Saturday the result was in any doubt, I just think it was a case of us maybe switching off a bit once we had opened up a big lead,” he said.

“I would also say they had a very good kicker, with half of their points coming from his boot.

“But there is no doubt the way we play leaves us open.

“That is by design, as there is more merit in running in four tries each week and racking up the bonus points than there is in finishing with a good points differential, which only comes into play at the end of the season if you finish level on points.

“Our organised defence is very good, but we do leave ourselves open if we lose the ball when on the attack as we commit so many men forward.

“It is a bit like a boxer going for the big hit and leaving themselves open to the counter.

“We are looking into ways of protecting ourselves a bit more, making sure we have people in position to sweep up the loose ball, but I am more than happy with the way we are playing.”

Sedgley had seven different names on the scoresheet against Wharfedale.

Danny Maher kicked off the try scoring on six minutes and was followed over by Mark Goodman and Steve Collins before half time. Callum McShane, Harrison Brown-Raw, Jamie Harrison and Matt Riley scored tries in the second half and Collins kicked four of seven conversion attempts.