LUDLOW suffered their first defeat of the Midlands One West season after a sparkling second-half turnaround was spoiled by a late lapse in a 28-25 loss to Stoke-on-Trent.

At 21-10 down at half-time, Ludlow looked dead and buried but fought back to lead 25-21, only for Stoke’s last-gasp score to leave the hosts with just a losing bonus point.

Ludlow opened the scoring through the boot of Will Sparrow but, with their scrum well on top, Stoke were awarded a penalty try and then used their lineout to good effect to score again.

Jim Alderson crossed to keep Ludlow in touch but a third converted try on the stroke of half-time, again through the forwards, left Stoke well in control.

Ludlow fed on scraps but Alderson won many of them. He turned over ball and fed it quickly to the back line for Sparrow to score a minute into the second half.

A high tackle on Jack Lines as Ludlow threatened again gave Sparrow the chance to add a penalty and reduce the deficit to 21-18.

Ludlow centre Will Hodnett then beat three men to cut through to score to give Ludlow the lead with ten minutes to go, Sparrow adding the extras.

At this point Ludlow became the architect of their own misfortunes, attempting to be expansive rather than protecting their lead.

Their largesse, resulting in a few missed passes, meant Stoke were able to score with a minute on the clock and close the game out.

Ludlow seconds lost 47-20 at Malvern in a game closer than the score suggests. Ludlow’s scorers were Ben Weller, Jonny Rogers, Alex Wallace and Laurence Hughes.

Elsewhere, last season’s Midlands Junior Vase finalists Tenbury cruised into the third round of this year’s competition with a 28-14 win at Cannock.

Tenbury raced into a 14-0 lead with tries by Zach Thompson and number 10 Claude Celton, both converted by Thompson.

Cannock responded with a converted try of their own but, after the break, skipper Ben James ran in the visitors’ third try, again converted by Thompson, to extend his side's lead to 21-7.

Cannock threatened to make a comeback with their second converted try but centre Callum Spires made doubly sure of victory with a well-executed try, converted by Thompson.

This Saturday, Tenbury enjoy their first home game of the season with a league encounter against Claverdon, kick off 3pm.

Prior to the game there will be a minute's silence in memory of Les Caldicott, a former club captain who passed away last week.

Clee Hill also made comfortable progress in the Vase, thrashing Greyhound 42-0 as skipper Charlie Evans scored four tries.

Steve Adams and Matt Meredith also crossed the line, while Hayden Edwards kicked two penalties and three conversions.