Sheffield RUFC kept their promotion dreams alive with a narrow win over rivals Wirral in the National League Three North.
Sheffield made the journey west to Merseyside to face an in-form, promotion chasing side who had previously not lost at home all season.
The win for Sheffield closes the gap to the play-off place to just eight points, putting all the pressure on second-placed Wirral to see out the rest of the season.
The Abbeydale side will be hoping to continue their push for promotion when they host Birkenhead Park on April 2.
Jason Soden, director of rugby at Sheffield RUFC said: “I am really pleased, we played well, built our phases and played in the path we wanted to play.
“Wirral were not as good as we were expecting them to be considering they had not been defeated for ten games whereas we played very strongly and played great rugby in all areas.
“Even though we only just beat them, I believe the scoreline flatters Wirral in honesty but we got the five point win and Wirral go away with nothing and that is exactly what we want.
“We have now beaten second in the league and hopefully that is going to bump their confidence. Someone else might then beat them and then it’s over to us keep winning, picking up the bonus points and potentially find ourselves in a position for the play-offs.”
When asked about Sheffield’s next game, Soden said: “Preparing for the game we are just going to train and carry on like we normally do.
“In fairness we have a brutal couple of weeks coming up. First we have the game against Birkenhead Park and then the midweek game against the Tigers before facing Rossendale on the Saturday.
“We decided not to schedule a game for this weekend as we figured our players are going to be getting pretty battered and bruised the week after, so we thought to give them a bit of a break. All the players have their own fitness regimes, so even though they will not be playing, they will still be preparing for our next match.”
Sheffield Tigers also recorded a victory at the weekend, increasing their lead at the top of the National League Three North to 15 points. The 42-22 win against Lymm all but ensures the Tigers are promoted with five games remaining. A convincing win against Stockport on Saturday should mathematically secure promotion for the Dore Moor side.