LUDLOW men’s first XI edged a nine-goal thriller to beat Pershore 5-4 and leapfrog their visitors into fifth place in West Midlands Hockey League Division One.

Victory was Ludlow’s third on the bounce and they are unbeaten in five games, a record that will face its stiffest test yet when they visit second-placed Stafford this Saturday.

Ludlow Ladies, by contrast, remain rooted to the foot of the Shropshire League, despite a depleted side putting up a brave fight in a 4-1 home defeat to high-flying Wem and Market Drayton.

Absences meant Ludlow fielded a young team, particularly in defence, with 14-year-old Orla Harrison marking her debut with a fine display.

Ludlow fell two behind but pulled one back through Shaunagh Yarham before the break, only for Wem to score twice more in the second half to seal victory.

Tenbury Ladies lost 5-1 at Bournville in Worcestershire League Division One, while the seconds were beaten 2-0 at home by Droitwich.