FRUSTRATED Ludlow head coach Mikey Jones saw his side lose out to a late penalty try as visitors Whitchurch continued their perfect start to the season.

The Midlands Two West (North) leaders had won all eight of their league games before heading to The Linney but that impressive record looked in danger as the home side led for the majority of the game thanks to four Jack Lines penalties.

Those kicks fired Ludlow into a 12-6 lead going into the final stages only to concede a penalty try as a Whitchurch scrum was dragged down as it headed towards the line.

The conversion saw Whitchurch win 13-12.

“We should have won,” Jones admitted.

“We just didn’t capitalise on the two half-chances we had and we also missed a penalty in the first half which would have been enough to win.

“You could see why they’ve not lost at all this season – they have some big lads and they play in all the right areas. But we shut their attack down and becuase we knew they had a big pack, we made sure we moved the ball around to try and tire them out and that worked.

“We changed the defence system at the start of the season and it wasn’t clicking for us to begin with. But now we are shutting sides out and we have only conceded a penalty try in our last two games – against leaders Whitchurch and at Leek which is never a nice place to go.”

Ludlow are at home again on Saturday when Newcastle (Staffs) are the visitors before rounding off the year with a trip to Birmingham side Old Saltleians the following week.

Jone added: “It’s a massive couple of weeks for us. If we can get a bonus point win on Saturday it will put us six points clear of Newcastle and a win the following week would mean we’ll go into the new year in mid table.

“We have competed against top sides Leek and Whitchurch in the last two weeks and we have players to come back into the side for Saturday including Dan Rawlings who has had work commitments and Will Sparrow who has been injured.”

It was a disappointing weekend for fellow Midlands Two West (North) side Cleobury Mortimer as they were edged out 15-13 at Tamworth.

A Hayden Edwards penalty was all the visitors could show from a battling first half but they were boosted by a Tom Leach try midway through the second half. Edwards kicked the extras and a second penalty but Cleobury hopes were not helped by having to play out the final stages with just 14 men after David Leach was sin binned.

Mid-table Veseyans are the visitors to Cleobury on Saturday.

Clee Hill lost 25-8 at Essington in Midlands Four West (North) on Saturday. George Evans went over for an unconverted try with Callum Spires adding a penalty for the visitors who take on Tenbury in a friendly on Saturday.