LUDLOW RFC must make the most of fine margins to establish their supremacy at the top of Midlands Two West North over the next few weeks, says head coach Mikey Jones.

A gritty 25-19 win at Veseyans ensured Ludlow kicked off 2019 in victorious fashion but the lack of a bonus point meant the leaders’ cushion at the summit was trimmed to two points.

But with second-placed Wolverhampton visiting Crewe and Nantwich, in fifth, then hosting third-placed Tamworth in January, Jones believes Ludlow can extend that gap.

Jones, whose side host ninth-placed Walsall this Saturday, said: “We have slightly easier games than Wolverhampton over the next three or four weeks.

“They have some hard games coming up and hopefully, if we can keep winning, we can start making that gap a bit bigger because, at the moment, every point is counting.”

Jones is not underestimating this weekend’s visitors Walsall, though, believing they are in a false position in the table.

He added: “They beat Leek last weekend, scoring 40-odd points, and that’s no mean feat in itself so something has perhaps clicked and we won’t be taking anything for granted.

“But we have a good four games now to get ourselves into a nice position points-wise.”

Ludlow were not quite as fluent as usual against Veseyans but new prop Jamie Durban, signed from Welsh side Knighton over Christmas, made an impressive debut.

They fell behind early as Veseyans were quickly off the mark with a penalty for offside but Ludlow replied with a try less than a minute later.

Fast ball off the top from a lineout was whizzed through the hands to Will Sparrow on the wing who left his opposite number grasping at fresh air. Sparrow added the conversion.

Another Veseyans penalty for offside under the posts narrowed Ludlow’s lead to 7-6 but Sparrow soon stretched that advantage to four points with a penalty of his own.

Sparrow continued his virtuoso display, adding another seven points with an almost identical try to his first. This time it was Will Hodnett who supplied a long pass to put him clear.

With a 17-6 lead at half-time, Ludlow might have been expected to ease away but Veseyans had not read the script.

Another Sparrow penalty made it 20-6 but Veseyans scored a try and kicked two penalties in the second half to keep matters competitive.

However, Ludlow sealed victory with their third try as man-of-the-match Sparrow threw a beautiful inside pass for full-back Joe Doyle to cross.

The victory delighted Jones, who said: “We were in control of the game all the way through and although we conceded a soft try, I always thought we were going to win.

“We needed to blow the Christmas cobwebs away and it was a very good win.”

Ludlow's second XV were in devastating form as they thrashed Veseyans 81-5 to move joint top of the Midlands Reserves League with Evesham.

Jack Davies scored four tries on his debut, while Tom Amphlett notched a hat-trick.

Dan Rawlings and Ben Black bagged braces while Cody Hall, another debutant, and Ross Hamer also crossed. Jaimie Simpson added eight conversions.