SEDGLEY Park closed the gap to the summit of National Two North after a thrilling late winner secured a 36-29 win against Sheffield Tigers.

Coupled with a first defeat for leaders Hinckley at Chester, Sedgley are now within four points of new table-toppers Hull Ionians.

And with more of their depleted squad expected back each week from now until Christmas, general manager Geoff Roberts is hoping they can again mount a promotion challenge this season.

He said: “It was a fantastic win for us and then we came off to find out Hinckley had lost which was a bonus.

“It is really tight at the top and we are in amongst it despite all the injuries we have had in the first part of the season.

“We are starting to get players back now each week and that can only help us.

“We travel to Tynedale on Saturday – which has never been a happy hunting ground for us – and we could have four players back.

“Mark Goodman could be back at number six after concussion while Hallam Chapman, who had a collar bone injury should return at number eight.

“Steve Collins, who has had an ankle problem, should also be available as well as winger Jamie Harrison.

“We do have two players unavailable due to international duty with Rob Holloway and Max Skofic away with Malta and Slovakia respectively but getting others back helps.

“We don't expect it easy at Tyndale who had a good win against Fylde recently.

“They may be down there struggling at the minute but we saw when we lost to Leicester Lions that the teams at the bottom end can give you a game.

“I don’t recall us winning many at Tynedale either – they have been our bogey team.

“But going there off the back of the good win against Sheffield gives us confidence we can break that run.”

Against Sheffield, Sedgley took the lead within two minutes when Matt Riley crossed for the first of his three tries on the day.

There were other tries for Leon Simpson and Ben Black but the game was close all the way to the final few minutes when Andy Riley scored to seal victory with Oliver Glasse converting one of three tries.

Roberts said: “It was a fantastic first half with both sides responding to defeats the previous week.

“There were some lovely tries in the first half but after half time, Sheffield had around 15 minutes where we didn’t touch the ball.

“We also played half of the second period a man down after two yellow cards.

“But defensively the lads really dug in and when Andy crossed with three minutes to go it sealed it for us.

“We still had to focus as it could have been level in the final play.

“Our former player, full-back Peter Swatkins, is a dangerous player and he went to go over our line but two lads hit him just before and that was the end of it.

“It was a fantastic game to win for us.”