Sedgley Park coach, Steve Hazzelby, was proud of a youthful Tigers side despite going down to a 25-15 defeat to Blackheath last weekend.

The Park Lane side made changes after securing their status for next season in National One, hoping their younger players would benefit from the experience.

And Hazzelby believes they did.

He said: “Like ourselves, Blackheath had secured promotion last season to National One and were enjoying a good season having secured their status in the league for next year.

“They had beaten us narrowly at home in January but there was very little between the teams lying eighth and ninth in the table.

“We had taken the opportunity to rest a number of our senior players with the aim of giving some of the younger ones the experience of National League rugby.

“And despite the outcome, we have to be pleased with the performances of some of the younger players, especially flanker Oli Leatherbarrow and Matt Law, who was making his debut in the centre.

“Also a special mention goes to captain, Oli Glasse, who led the team playing at full-back and put in a man-of-the-match performance.”

In windy conditions, the Tigers started positively, taking play deep into the home side’s ‘22’, but were unable to come away with points except for a penalty from fly-half Warren Seals in the 10th minute.

Blackheath came back with a penalty of their own shortly after and the scores remained level at 3-3 with both teams defending well.

But in the 30th minute, the home team scored their first converted try after a sharp line break by their backs. They followed this up with a second converted try after a strong forward drive giving them a 15-3 lead going into the break.

It was a frustrating half for the Tigers as their attack sets were really good and they had created a number of excellent chances but were unable to finish them off.

They were confident they could turn the deficit around in the second half, but it was Blackheath who scored first with a penalty in the 52nd minute.

However, the next 20 minutes belonged to the Tigers as they looked to test the home side’s defences every time they attacked.

A beautiful passage of play saw the ball moved quickly through four pairs of hands for winger Andy Riley to touch down in the left-hand corner, then 10 minutes later another powerful surge into the home side’s half saw young winger Will Bradley race through to touch down under the posts. Seals added the conversion to make it 18-15.

The game became disjointed with the referee giving Blackheath penalty after penalty which gave them territory and possession in Sedgley’s 22, from which they scored their third try after a catch-and-drive from the forwards. to seal their win.

On Saturday, Sedgley have their final home match of the season against fourth-placed Plymouth Albion.