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Tigers secure priceless last-gasp win thanks to Riley try
10:00am Thursday 21st February 2013 in Sport
By Neil Bonnar
SEDGLEY Tigers hope a long-awaited victory last weekend can prove the springboard to survival.
The Park Lane men, who had lost 11 of their previous 12 games, pulled off a dramatic 26-22 win at relegation rivals Wharfedale.
They could not have left it later with Andy Riley sprinting over for the winning try two minutes into stoppage time.
It leaves them second bottom of National League One, and with three going down they have their sights set on fourth-bottom Wharfedale who are now 11 points above them with 10 games still to play.
The one dark cloud from the day was a broken collar bone for Richard Wainwright who has already suffered two broken arms this season.
Sedgely now aim to build on their victory on Saturday when they host Lancashire rivals Fylde whose away form has been suspect of late, having lost nine of their last 11 away matches.
First team manager Geoff Roberts was delighted for his side after they secured only a second win in an 11-game spell in which the results have not reflected their competitive performances.
“The good thing about this team is the boys have always kept their heads up,” he said of his players who have manfully battled through a difficult period.
“We are no strangers to a relegation battle and it will come down to who wants it the most.
“And I feel confident that our boys are up for the fight.
“They have never given up and have fought to the end in every game. Hopefully now this win will instil confidence and belief and be a springboard for us.”
A Phil Largan try, converted by Matt Riley, gave Tigers a 7-0 lead after four minutes, but territorial pressure from the home team saw them build a 13-7 lead after 34 minutes despite resolute defending from the Whitefield men.
A jinking run from Steve Collins, again converted by Riley, gave Sedgley a 14-13 half-time lead which Wharfedale took away from them with a penalty four minutes after the break.
A brotherly double on 50 minutes restored Sedgley’s lead, Andy Riley touching down and Matt converting to put the visitors 21-16 ahead.
Like Tigers, Wharfedale also refused to lie down and went 22-21 up with two penalties on 62 and 74 minutes.
And they held the lead until two minutes into stoppage time when an expansive move across the backs finished with Steve Collins timing his pass to perfection and Andy Riley streaking through.
“It was a pulsating game,” said Roberts. “Now hopefully we will follow it up against Fylde on a big day at Park Lane.”
Saturday’s game kicks off at 2.30pm and Tigers are expecting one of their biggest crowds of the season for the local derby.