SEDGLEY Park maintained the pressure on National Two North leaders Sale with an important 52-24 win at Blaydon last Saturday.

Eight tries on the day, including a hat-trick for Andy Riley, saw the Tigers notch a fourth successive league victory and add another bonus point to their tally as the gap to leaders Sale FC reduced to just two points.

General manager Geoff Roberts still believes the title is in Sale’s hands, with them having a game in hand over Sedgley, but admits the pressure must be applied so they can capitalise on any slip.

And they did just that with their big win on the road at the weekend.

As well as Riley’s treble, there were tries for Callum McShane, Hallam Chapman, Kieran Allen, Ben Black and Matthew Gallagher, while Steve Collins kicked six conversions.

It made what could have been a tricky test on paper look straightforward.

Roberts told the Bury Times: “They scored early inside five minutes but in the next 20 minutes after that we were electric.

“We really took them apart in that spell to go 28-5 in front.

“Then, defending our own line, Ben Black was shown a yellow card and for the last 10 minutes of the half we conceded two tries while down a man.

“With Ben back in the second half, we were on form again and took the game away from Blaydon.

“That allowed us to make some changes and give some players a rest near the end ahead of tonight’s rearranged game at Wharfdale. So all in all it was a good day for us.”

With no games scheduled for Easter, Roberts and his side had been expecting a break.

But the spell of bad weather last month meant the game at Wharfdale needing rearranging.

And Roberts explained why it was set for tonight and not the weekend.

He added: “We weren’t due to play over Easter until the bad weather saw this game postponed.

“It could have gone ahead on Saturday but it would mean the lads only having a couple of days break.

“We suggested Thursday night so everyone would get the four days off but both teams have to agree. Fortunately, Wharfdale felt the same so we play tonight. We won’t take a team bus – the lads will make their own way after work and we will meet up there.

“But I think it’s a good call.

“We have to remember, this is still an important game for us and it won’t be easy as Sale found it tough against them recently before they won.

“If we can get through this then we have three out of the last four at home.”