LUDLOW head coach Mikey Jones spoke of his pride despite seeing his side beaten by a last-minute penalty at Leek.

Jones’ men looked all set for an impressive away win in Midlands 2 West (North) until a late penalty was awarded to the home team.

Leek, with the final kick of the game, clinched a 12-10 victory and left Jones feeling deflated after a positive performance from his side.

“It was really tough to take as it was the best defensive performance we’ve put in this season,” he said.

“In my eyes, it wasn’t a penalty that led to the winning kick so it was gutting.

"They didn’t really press us much in our own 22 - it was a sour ending for us.

“They never looked like scoring a try.

"There was a bit of snow, sleet and rain so we had it all to contend with and the conditions were testing.

“I didn’t really have much to say to the boys at the end of the game.

"I was really proud of them and we were just hugely disappointed.”

Ludlow full-back Joe Doyle scored the only try of the game in the difficult Staffordshire conditions.

The visitors came closest to scoring another try but, after the referee raised his arm for an infringement, he played the advantage and Ludlow ended up knocking the ball on.

That allowed Leek to recover and they stole the win with the final action of the afternoon.

“We came close to scoring another try but refereeing decisions just didn’t go our way,” Jones, whose side host league leaders Whitchurch this Saturday, added.

“Looking back, there’s not a lot more we could have done. We got the losing bonus point so at least we came away with something. We’re now looking forward to a tough game against Whitchurch.”

Ludlow’s league rivals Cleobury Mortimer put up a good fight at Love Lane but were ultimately beaten by high-flying Spartans (Midlands).

Hayden Edwards kicked a penalty for Cleobury but that was all they could muster as they went down 14-3.

Cleobury will be targeting their third league win of the campaign on Saturday when they travel to Tamworth.

Church Stretton remain bottom of Midlands 4 West (North) after a heavy 39-7 home defeat to fellow strugglers Essington.

Clee Hill, meanwhile, were narrowly beaten 15-11 at home by league leaders Eccleshall.

Clee will be hoping to return to winning ways this Saturday when they travel to Essington.

It was a good weekend for Bishop’s Castle as they climbed to second in Midlands 5 West (North) after a home victory against St Leonards.

The 29-5 success saw them close the gap to leaders Greyhound to just two points.