Part one successfully completed ... now for part two of Sheffield Tigers mini must-win challenge.
The Dore Moor side duly came away with a 12-10 win at next to bottom Kendal and in the process climbed two places up the National North 2 table to sixth from bottom with 28 points from 14.
More importantly, it pushed them above Saturday’s visitors Leicester Lions, albeit by a single point.
If the Tigers can maul the Lions the extra breathing space would prove invaluable and give added impetus to their two tough-looking matches before the Christmas break, at Westoe on December 10 followed by a home clash against Hull.
The major factor in the Kendal success was their dominance in the scrum, which they exerted throughout the game. Tigers were ahead after just four minutes when a strong drive at the scrum gave Alex Drage good ball and he off-loaded to Jonny West who then fed Jamie Broadley. His pace took him clear and as he drew the full back his well timed pass enabled Peter Swatkin to race over. West added the conversion but two minutes later the home side kicked a penalty to reduce the gap.
Kendal missed three more penalty attempts and Tigers, with No8 and skipper Gregor Hayter leading by example, closed out the half.
The wet and muddy conditions saw them re-emerge for the second half in their change strip white shirts and within four minutes Tigers had increased their hold on the game when a succession of drives resulted in Sam Cooke powering over from close range for an unconverted try.
With 10 minutes remaining, Kendal grabbed a lifeline with a converted try but Hayter and Co. were in no mood to relinquish the four points and held out for victory.
Team: Chivers (Cone), Thomson (Gidlow), Burke-Flynn, Cook, Joel, Mackenzie (Wragg), Pearson N (Smyth), Hayter, Drage, West, Broadley, Buchanan, Outram, Graham, Swatkins. Replacement not used: Wright.
Man of the Match – Ali Thomson: High work rate and strong carries of the ball.