HEAD coach Mikey Jones admits he already has one eye on next season after Ludlow RFC took a giant step towards promotion – but wants his side to focus solely on sealing the title in style.

A 35-10 home win over Newcastle last weekend – combined with nearest challengers Tamworth losing at Camp Hill – boosted Ludlow’s lead to ten points at the top of Midlands Two West North.

With four games left, and a hugely superior points difference, Ludlow need only two bonus-point wins to clinch the title – and they host both of the bottom two, Stafford and Telford.

Victory at Spartans next Saturday (March 23) would give Ludlow the chance to be crowned champions at home to Stafford and avoid any nerves for the trip to Tamworth that follows.

Jones, though, is convinced his team are champions-in-waiting, admitting: “Talking with my other coaches, we have got one eye on next season and are looking at who we can bring in.

“The way we play will suit the league above and we have a very good skill set but we will come up against bigger sides and bigger packs so we might have to bring in a couple of bigger players.

“But for the players this season, it’s just game by game – we want to finish with four wins out of four, not two out of four. We don’t want to slip up anywhere.

“We want to go to Tamworth, beat them on their own patch and show them how good we are.

“Tamworth losing has taken the pressure right off us – we don’t have to chase the league now, if we get each game right we should be champions.

“We will approach Spartans as our biggest game of the season – if we get it right there, the chance to win the league at home would be brilliant.”

Ludlow endured a nervy start against Newcastle as the visitors went ahead through a penalty, while Will Sparrow hit the upright from in front of the posts.

The hosts would not be behind for long, though, as fly-half Keiron Pinches made a lovely break and fed Jim Alderson, who drove on before offloading to full back Joe Doyle to score.

Sparrow converted and although he again hit the post with another penalty, his fine kick ahead led to Ludlow’s second try as Alderson crashed over from a line-out. Sparrow again converted.

Leading 14-3 at half-time, Ludlow soon added a third try as Charlie Doyle broke from a scrum and fed Sparrow who beat his man to dot down and add the conversion.

A converted Newcastle try narrowed the gap to 21-10 but Dan Ruell set up one score for scrum-half Rhys Perkins and scored one himself with a cracking solo run, with Sparrow converting both.

Jones added: “The performance wasn’t quite where it has been – we should have been celebrating after a five-point win but we were all a bit downbeat because we didn’t play to our full potential.”

Ludlow seconds lost 30-10 at home to Walsall despite second-half tries from Tom Amphlett and Robbie Ormond.