Stratford-upon-Avon 17 pts Ludlow 17 pts

A LATE drop-goal from Jack Lines salvaged a draw for Ludlow in their battle to avoid rele gation from Midlands One West.

Ludlow led 14-7 at one stage in Saturday’s match and were relieved when Lines struck with three minutes remaining.

“We were very pleased to come away with two points,” said coach Dave Irish, whose Ludlow side held a 14-12 interval advantage.

“Stratford were very determined to play the game and it was a good surface and an exciting, open game.”

He added: “We were disappointed not to win but it puts us level on points with Berkswell and Balsall.

“The next four to five weeks will determine what will happen at the bottom of this league.”

Ludlow’s relegation rivals Northwich and Barkers Butts meet this weekend and Berkswell travel to Hereford.

Irish felt the ‘harsh’ sin-binning of Dar ren Brick after a line-out tussle proved crucial at Stratford because the hosts scored two tries in 10 minutes.

He said that Will Norton damaged ankle ligaments and will miss Saturday’s home game against Stoke.

Ludlow played by the book but fell 7-0 behind in the only game in the division which survived the bad weather.

But tries from Will Green and Rob Higgins, converted by Norton, put the visitors 14-7 ahead.

However, Stratford replied strongly and took a grip on the match before Lines slotted his match-saving drop-goal from a well-worked move.

Meanwhile, ex-Ludlow player Mike Jones scored a last-gasp try for Luctonians in a 13-5 home defeat against runaway leaders Stourbridge in National League Two North last Saturday.

Chris Harris, Rob Yeomans and Paul Hulland all impressed for the Herefordshire side in the Mortimer Park mud.