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Neil Mitchell refusing to throw in the towel over Stourbridge promotion hopes

Sport | Published:

Stourbridge director of rugby Neil Mitchell concedes his side are unlikely to get promoted now – but has not given up all hope yet.

They are now fourth in the National Two North table following a 40-19 defeat to second-placed Sale.

Being 16 points behind play-off spot holders Sale, and 25 off table-toppers Caldy, Mitchell still refuses to rule out promotion, however unlikely it may be.

"It's not the way you would want to end the season, in February," he said. "Never say never but the reality is we are probably done for this year, and we will have to start looking towards next season and what we can do there.

"We still want to make an impact and end the season on a high.

"It's not dead in the water, although we need to be looking at winning every game between now and the end of the season.

"We have got 69 points and if we win all of our remaining games, with the bonus point, we would have another 45 to put us on 114 – and you would expect that to be enough.

"We need to win every game and a few losses from the others, but being anything other than proactive and hopeful just doesn't cut it.

"There is no pressure on our boys now – we can just go out and enjoy our rugby."

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In the defeat against Sale, Stour had Nick Murphy sent off in the 37th minute and Paolo Odogwu also had a spell in the sin bin in the second period.

Injuries forced Mark George and Liam Mather from the pitch although Stour took scant consolation from Nathan Tilsley's brace of tries and winger Dan Rundle extending his remarkable record to a try scored in each of last seven appearances.

Mitchell added: "Sale played well but we had a yellow card in the second half, which was the wrong call.

"We had a red card before half-time as well which really ended the game as a contest."

Stour head for the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday to take on Wharfedale.

Having had their unbeaten run on home soil come to an end, their next game at Stourton Park will be on February 18 when they host old rivals Sedgley Park.

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