By Claire Cameron
FOURTH-placed Sedgley Tigers returned to action on Saturday with a win at Bromsgrove – a result which relegated the National League Two North strugglers.
The Tigers, who enjoyed a scheduled break the previous weekend, travelled to the second-bottom side expecting a much tougher test than the 90-5 victory they achieved in the reverse fixture in November.
Coach Geoff Roberts said: “We knew it would be a much tougher encounter as Bromsgrove were fighting for their lives. “In truth, it was a really disjointed game but we got away with it.
“It was scrappy and messy, and not particularly enjoyable to watch, but it was a win.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to get the bonus point.”
Roberts felt a freak thunderstorm followed by heavy rain and hail just before kick off was to blame for some of the quality of rugby displayed by his team.
He said: “The thunderstorm just before kick off turned what was a really nice pitch into an absolute bath.
“When the pitch is like that it stops the flow of our game.
“The lads said the pitch was pretty awful to play on, so all we can be grateful for is that we came away with four points.”
Bromsgrove took the lead in the seventh minute with a try from Samuel Bastock, which Jonathan Critchlow converted.
The Tigers opened their account with a Steve Collins penalty on 23 minutes before a Matt Lamprey try and a Collins conversion gave them a 10-7 lead on 29 minutes.
The Tigers extended that two minutes later with a try from Robert Holloway, which was again converted by Collins, to lead 17-7 at half time.
Scott Smith went over for a try in the 65th minute as the hosts tried to get back into the game, Critchlow converting.
However, Lamprey’s second try of the game in the 70th minute settled the match with Collins adding the extras to seal a 24-14 victory.
The Tigers, who lost Richard Wainwright to injury in the first half, were dealt a further blow when Callum McShane was sin-binned on 35 minutes.
“Richard got a knock on the base of his back so he had to come off with Chris Wilkinson taking his place,” said Roberts.
“Callum was sin-binned at the end of the first half so he missed the start of the second period too.”
The Park Lane outfit will be wearing a tiger stripe kit and raising money for Bury Hospice during their charity day on Saturday when they host seventh-placed Harrogate, kick off 2.30pm.