SHEFFIELD Tigers travel to Leicester Lions this weekend with renewed hope and optimism after giving a good account of themselves against National Two North league leaders Stourbridge.
Buoyed by the return of captain Andy Barnes, who replaced the injured Nick Pearson, the Dore More-based club lost narrowly 22-20 as Stourbridge maintained their perfect record.
Tigers scrum-half Alex Drage powered over for his third try of the season to cancel out Drew Harper’s ninth minute opener. Stourbridge regained the lead on the half hour mark through a James Hearn effort but a couple of penalties from Tom Outram ensured the Tigers, who lost prop Anton O’Donnell and hooker Ross White to knee and ankle injuries respectively, deservedly led 13-10 at half-time.
When Outram converted Mark Chivers touch down just after the re-start, a shock result seemed on the cards. However, Stourbridge fought back, claiming two second-half tries, with a late Caolan Ryan conversion wrapping up their 12th consecutive victory.
Sheffield, meanwhile, edged out mid-table Pocklington 18-14 to stay in third position in North One East. Tries from Gareth Morley and Andy Kelly saw them home but Sheffield trail table-topping Wheatley Hills by 10 points after the Doncaster side defeated Malton and Norton 24-16. Gareth Burns, Jonathan Woodcock and Ian Barker all crossed for Hills.
In Yorkshire Division Two, Doncaster Phoenix saw off Selby while Sheffield Medicals were comprehensively beaten by Yarnbury.