LUDLOW RFC must become more clinical with their chances to ensure the fine margins between victory and defeat go their way this season, says head coach Mikey Jones.

For the second week running in Midlands One West, promoted Ludlow lost narrowly, following up a 28-25 home loss to Stoke-on-Trent with Saturday’s heartbreaking 22-21 defeat at Stourbridge Lions.

Ludlow remain in mid-table thanks to a win and a draw that preceded those reverses and Jones insists the small details make all the difference having stepped up a division this season.

Jones said: “We just have to become more clinical because we are creating enough chances, especially in the opposition’s 22.

“We talk about it all the time – that as you go up the leagues, you get fewer opportunities to score because the defences in this division are way better than what we have been up against previously.

“So when those opportunities come about, you have to take them – and we are not taking them at the moment.

“The fact that we are losing so narrowly is the frustrating thing for the lads because if there was something majorly wrong, we could address it.

“We are just waiting for that game where everybody clicks and once we get that second win under our belts, I think we will really start to kick on.”

Ludlow have the chance to do that this Saturday when they welcome Sutton Coldfield – who have lost three of their opening four games – to The Linney.

The aforementioned loss to Stoke was Ludlow’s first home league defeat in more than 18 months and Jones wants them to quickly put it behind them.

He added: “It was a knock on our confidence but it was a game we lost ourselves, rather than through Stoke being better than us. We just took the wrong options at times.

“Sutton like to play rugby, similar to us, and I think it will be a good game for us.”

Ludlow could have snatched victory in the dying seconds at Stourbridge but a penalty from Will Hodnett – standing in for regular kicker Will Sparrow – sailed just wide.

“It was a big kick for someone who isn’t a regular kicker,” admitted Jones.

Stourbridge had kicked a penalty just prior to Hodnett’s miss to crucially regain the lead.

Lions had twice led in the first half only for a pair of James Mear tries, both converted by Hodnett, to inch Ludlow ahead on both occasions.

Another Stourbridge try put the hosts 19-14 up but Tom Amphlett’s score – from a lovely Hodnett step and pass – plus Hodnett’s conversion made it 21-19 to the visitors.

Ludlow almost defended that lead but, hindered by the loss of captain Matt Davies with a dislocated shoulder, they lost out in the late penalty duel.