THERE is plenty more to come from National Two North leaders Sedgley Tigers, according to coach Geoff Roberts, after they held their nerve to rescue a draw with the last play of Saturday's match at home to Tynedale.
Defeat for table toppers Stourbridge meant Tigers moved to the summit despite dropping their first points of the campaign in the 24-24 cliffhanger.
After winning their opening four matches without ever really being pushed, Tigers came within a stoppage of losing the division's only remaining unbeaten record.
But forward Max Ashcroft somehow found himself in the right corner to finish off a flowing move in injury time.
And while Steve Collins missed a difficult conversion to claim an unlikely victory, Roberts said the final whistle was met with relief rather than recriminations.
"That would have been the cherry of the cake if Steve had got us the win but it was a very difficult kick," said Roberts.
"We were more than happy, relieved in fact, to scrape the three points for a draw.
"To then go back into the dressing room to find the leaders had been thumped at Leicester Lions and we had moved top, well that just intensified the feeling that we got away with this one.
"In past games we had taken an early lead and then eased off, but we had to show real grit and determination to fight all the way for this one, so it was an important lesson.
"In the first half we had a host of chances but just seemed to keep on being pegged back by a last-ditch tackle.
"In footballing terms, it was as if we continually kept hitting the woodwork.
"I feared it was not going to be our day, but I am glad the boys have been through that experience. They will be better for it.
"What I feel is that we have still not hit top gear, even though we are top of the table.
"I believe there is a lot more to come from the squad, but sometimes you need a scare like this to really reach for the heights, which I hope will come at some point."
Sedgley conceded a converted try against the run of play after only eight minutes and had to wait for another 20 minutes to get back on level terms after a try from Sam Lowthion, converted by Collins, finally broke Tynedale's stubborn resistance.
Scrum half Callum McShane capitalised on a gap in the visitors' defence to put the Tigers ahead on 30 minutes with another converted try to send his side into the break with a deserved advantage.
Tynedale responded by claiming seven points at the start of a see-saw second half. And while Sedgley's Johnathan Matthew put them 19-14 up after going over following a lineout in the 56th minute, the home side looked to have suffered a hammer blow in the closing stages when Henry Hadfield bustled his way over for two unconverted tries in the 71st and 79th minutes.
But Roberts' men showed their title credentials to come back with a late, late show.
Ashcroft, the hero of the hour, is unavailable for Saturday's trip to South Leicester, while fellow forward Ben Black and number seven Max Skofic are also missing.