COACH Dave Irish wants his Ludlow players to ‘put things right’ against Tamworth at The Linney this Saturday.

Ludlow are now 14 points adrift of second-placed Moseley Oak after slipping to an 18-6 defeat at Stafford last weekend in Midlands Two West (North).

Irish said: “We wanted to be pushing for a top-two spot. But the defeat means that matters are not in our own hands. We have matches to come against Crewe and Leek.”

Two early penalties from Joe Doyle kicked fifth-placed Ludlow into a 6-0 lead at Stafford.

“We had three or four lads working and some other lads away on a skiing trip,” said Irish.

“We had not trained for three weeks and we were caught cold after Christmas.

“We had a host of players playing out of position and winger Jim Alderson played well at scrum half.”

He added: “We have an opportunity at home to Tamworth to put it right. Our pitch was underwater as far as the 22 last Saturday and more rain could put the game at risk.”

Meanwhile, winger Tom Ward scored four tries in Church Stretton’s 54-5 friendly win at Newport 3rd last Saturday.

Centre Jack Titley bagged a hat-trick and winger Alex Pheby had a good day with the boot, kicking seven conversions in Saturday's success.

Stretton were outstanding in an eight-try romp and they have a tough test next, travelling to play Telford's first-team on January 25.

Titley opened the scoring, after a quick break from Ward,who turned into finisher for the next try.

Ward added two more scores in quick succession and Stretton notched a fifth try before the interval through captain Ben Speake.

Newport grabbed an unconverted try in the corner, despite a last-gasp tackle from Danny Harley.

Ward soon added his fourth, while Titley then added two tries in the final 10 minutes.