Sedgley Park suffer title setback

There was no shortage of drama at both ends of National Two North this weekend as the promotion race and survival fight saw more twists and turns take place

League leaders Macclesfield weren’t in action on the weekend as snowfall hit Cheshire on Friday meaning their game with Harrogate was postponed. That gave the chance for second placed Sedgley Park to reduce the gap at the top, but they failed to take advantage.

They were beaten by Stourbridge and that was compounded by wins for Leicester Lions and Caldy as the tussle for the play-off place heats up.

Down at the bottom, the Luctonians’ revival continued on the weekend as they moved out of the bottom three for the first time this year while South Leicester also picked up a huge victory in their quest for survival. There was no such joy for Sale FC as they dropped into the relegation zone with defeat while Broadstreet and Huddersfield look destined for National Three.

Stourbridge 15-7 Sedgley Park

Stourbridge gave their promotion ambitions a boost as they beat Sedgley Park to go second in the National Two North table.

With Macclesfield not in action, it was Sedgley Park’s chance to close the gap at the top of the league, but they found themselves behind at the break as Stour established a lead through tries from Joseph Heatley and Stephan Thorpe to put them 12-0 ahead.

Chris Scott stretched the hosts’ advantage with a penalty after the restart, but Sedge could only manage one score in this messy affair as Harry Greville touched down 10 minutes from the end.

And Stour were able to close the game out and prevent their visitors claiming a losing bonus point meaning the Midlands side are now three points clear of Sedge, but the Tigers do have three games in hand.

Sale FC 12-16 Leicester Lions

Leicester Lions are still firmly in the play-off hunt as they have moved up to third in the table after victory over Sale FC at Heywood Road.

Samuel Benjamin’s try in the final eight minutes was enough for the Lions to register a seventh win from their last eight matches and move them to within a point of Stourbridge.

But the Midlands outfit had an uncomfortable hour as they entered the final quarter behind on the score board before Benjamin’s try clinched them the win.

Sale had led 12-11 on 64 minutes after four penalties from the boot of fly-half Liam McGovern had cancelled out Joseph Collingham’s first half touchdown as well as six points from Jonathan Boden.

But Sale, who have been excellent at home this season, couldn’t hold out and have now slipped into the relegation zone having lost three of their last five games.

Caldy 26-15 Sandal

Caldy kept their faint play-off hopes alive as they made it back to back wins with victory over a Sandal side that are now only four points clear of the relegation zone.

Forbes Edwards and Nicholas Royle both touched down either side of James Briscoe’s try to give the home side a 14-10 lead at half-time.

Royle scored for the hosts again after the break before Harrison Crowe was yellow-carded for Caldy which allowed Jamie Heron to barge over to make it 19-15 with just under 15 minutes remaining.

But a late Nyle Davidson try sealed the win for Caldy who are now four points off second place while Sandal’s remarkable decline continues.

Broadstreet 12-19 Otley

Otley made it three victories in a row as they battled to a hard-fought win over Broadstreet whose survival chances are now looking slim.

Otley winger James Wood went over after the break for Otley’s only try of the game, while Stephan Depledge kicked 14 points.

Aaron Martin and Luke Hibberd went over for ‘Street with Lee Chapman converting one of the tries for the hosts.

But it was Otley who had done enough for the win and the defeat for Broadstreet now leaves them seven points from safety having played all 24 of their allotted games this season.

Chester 30-13 Huddersfield

Huddersfield’s hopes of avoiding relegation from National Two North suffered a major setback as they were beaten by Chester which leaves them 18 points from safety.

The divisions bottom club were 15-8 behind at half-time thanks to tries from Rhys Hayes and Thomas Foden and five points via the boot of Callum Bennett although Chris Bell’s penalty and Alex Battye’s try kept ‘Field to within a converted score.

Bennett stretched the home sides lead with a penalty after the interval before Lewis Workman darted over for Huddersfield to reduce the deficit to five points.

But two late tries from David Ford and Hayes again secured the win for Chester and left Huddersfield now knowing they have a mountain to climb to stay in the fourth tier of English rugby.

Preston Grasshoppers 24-31 Luctonians

After eight wins from their last 11 games, the Luctonians have moved out of the bottom three after their latest victory away at Preston Grasshoppers.

The Lucts’ revival as been sensational since the back end of last year and now they are reaping the rewards thanks to some outstanding results.

But it was Preston that led this encounter at half-time as a try from Scott Jordan and 13 points from Lewis Allen gave the home side an 18-13 advantage, with Josh Watkins going over for the visitors and Louis Silver kicking eight points.

A penalty a piece exchanged between Allen and Silver as well as a William Burton try for the Lucts made it 21-21 heading into the final quarter before the away side took control.

Watkins got his second try of the game with 10 minutes remaining and that was swiftly followed by fellow winger Joseph Doyle crashing over to give the Lucts a 10 point lead.

Allen knocked over a penalty two minutes from the end, but it was merely a consolation as the Lucts move up to 12th in the table.

South Leicester 34-3 Tynedale

South Leicester picked up a vital win in their fight for survival as they blew relegation rivals Tynedale away at Welford Road.

Andrew Gates, Jacob Heath, Calum Gunn and William Ward all crossed in the first-half to give South a 27-3 half-time advantage.

Ward scored his second and the home sides’ fifth try after the restart and ultimately sealed a much needed win for South who are now two points clear of the drop with two games in hand.

Robert Parker scored Tynedale’s only points with a penalty on 16 minutes as the north-east side now find themselves just a point ahead of the relegation zone as their tough season in National Two North continues.

National League Rugby