Sedgley Park broke their 2024 duck with a 30-25 home win against Cinderford last Saturday and in doing so secured their place in National One for next season.

It was a long-awaited victory that pleased coach Steve Hazzelby and eased the pressure ahead of the final stages of the campaign.

Hazzelby said: “We had beaten them at their ground earlier in the season but this was a must-win game for both sides as they were fighting for survival lying second from bottom in the league.

“It was a wonderful performance from the whole squad of players which has given us that security going into the last three games of the season.

“A special mention goes to fly-half, Warren Seals, who scored 20 valuable points in his man-of-the-match performance.”

The game started with both sides kicking for territory and possession, but it was the Tigers who scored first with a penalty for fly-half Warren Seals after three minutes.

However, the visitors hit back strongly with a well-worked try for winger Sam Smith after a great counter attack. Their fly-half, Jake Shortland, converted and they had taken the lead after 15 minutes.

Straight from the restart, the Tigers number eight charged their clearance kick down and touched down under the posts and Seals added the conversion.

Cinderford levelled the scores with a 45-metre penalty on 20 minutes by Shortland, and another 10 minutes later gave the visitors the lead going into the last five minutes of the half.

However, a tremendous line break by Tigers flanker, Lewis Bradley, saw him go over for the hosts’ second try, and Seals converted to make it 17-13 at the break.

The second half started well for the home side with another penalty for Seals after five minutes to further extend the lead, but Cinderford hit back almost immediately with converted a try for their winger after strong driving and phases play deep in the hosts’ 22.

The scores were now level 20-20 in this ding-dong battle but Seals put the Tigers back in the lead with his third penalty in the 53rd minute after a tremendous drive by replacement flanker, Oli Leatherbarrow.

A yellow card reduced the hosts to 14 men and it during this period Cinderford scored their third try to put them back in the lead 25-23 going into the last 18 minutes.

However, the Tigers were not going to let this game slip away and drive after drive, phase after phase tested the visitors’ defence.

And the pressure told as star man Seals broke through three tackles and touched down near the posts before adding the conversion to make it 30-25.

The last 10 minutes were nervy for the Tigers, especially as they received another yellow card, but they saw it through for the all-important win.

Sedgley now have a break for Easter and their next game is in London against Blackheath on April 6, where they can now enjoy some freedom with the threat of relegation gone.