SEDGLEY Park general manager Geoff Roberts admits Saturday’s narrow 28-26 National Two North defeat at Otley was heartbreaking for his side.

The Tigers returned to action after the festive break with three tries in a game that was nip and tuck until a late penalty sealed the points for the hosts.

It ended a long run of success for Tigers against Otley but while Roberts says everyone was disappointed in the away dressing room, he remains positive they can bounce back at home to Preston Grasshoppers this weekend.

Roberts said: “It was a real heartbreaker for us to lose late on.

“But the lads put a good, strong shift in and while they were naturally gutted afterwards, they deserve credit for the way they played.

“They didn’t play badly and we applied most of the pressure in the game.

“At the end Otley celebrated like they had won the cup and I didn’t realise that it was the first time in a while they had beaten us.

“I think we have won something like eight on the trot before last weekend so they were delighted with the victory.

“It was a great game, we were just on the wrong side of the result and that has happened a lot for us this year.

“I guess it is one of those seasons for us but we get on with it.

“Hopefully, things will start to swing in our favour.

“We are getting players back from injury now and that will be a boost.

“We are hoping Danny Maher will be back this weekend after missing last Saturday after a whack in the jaw left him with a cracked tooth before Christmas.”

While it was a tight game at Otley, Roberts rued a late turnaround that handed the hosts victory.

He added: “We gifted them the game a bit near the end.

“We ended up hammering their line and our winger broke through but tried to chip over into the dead-ball area.

“But that area is narrow at Otley and it didn’t come off.

“We also misjudged play from kick off when our man was caught offside and it handed Otley a penalty.

“But the way we play with an open and fluid game means we are always liable to mistakes – it is just how you react.

“We want to bounce back this weekend when we host Preston which should be another tight game against a team level with us on points.

“Fingers crossed we can get a win and get back on track in the league.”