CLEOBURY Mortimer coach Rod Yapp was pleased with his side’s second-half response in their 22-8 Midlands Three West North defeat at second-placed Old Saltleians.

The Mortimer men trailed 22-3 at half-time, with their points coming from a Hayden Edwards penalty.

But Cleobury shut out their title-chasing hosts after the interval and while they were unable to get anything from the game, the visitors were rewarded with a late James Cutts try.

Yapp said: “We had several harsh decisions go against us in the first half, including a yellow card, and we were also playing against the wind and the slope.

“But in the second half we dug in and they didn’t score a point.”

Defeat leaves Cleobury ninth in the table, seven points above the bottom two, ahead of their final game of 2018 on Saturday when they host leaders Shrewsbury, who have won all ten of their matches so far.

Yapp added: “If we could get the team out that we’ve put out the last couple of weeks, we would be absolutely fine, but a lot of the games we have lost have been down to a lack of strength in depth.

“When we are missing four or five players, you can tell, that’s the problem we’ve got."