WHITCHURCH’S derby-day visit to The Linney this Saturday will be crucial to Ludlow RFC’s hopes of a top-five finish in Midlands One West, admits head coach Mikey Jones.

Ludlow smashed Old Halesonians 60-10 last weekend with Tom Amphlett bagging four of their eight tries.

Joe Doyle, Jack Lines and Jim Alderson also crossed, as did Will Sparrow, who added seven conversions and two penalties as Ludlow triumphed despite three separate sin-bin periods.

Victory lifted Ludlow to seventh, four points below fifth-placed Whitchurch, and Jones said: “We owe them one after we chucked the game away at their place to lose by a point.

“It’s a big game with Whitchurch in fifth – we can leapfrog them with a win but they would open up a gap on us if they win.

“We don’t want to finish eighth or ninth, we want to get up to fifth and make it a successful season.”

Elsewhere, Cleobury Mortimer’s game at Handsworth was abandoned, Clee Hill had a walkover at home to Trentham and Tenbury were without a game.

Bishops Castle & Onny Valley did play but lost 17-0 at Bloxwich in Midlands Five.