NORTH Ribblesdale assistant coach Simon Walker can see light at the end of the tunnel, despite his side losing 57-0 at home to leaders Keighley last weekend in Yorkshire Division Two.

Ribb are fourth from bottom with 10 points, but Walker said: “We have three or four key players out at the moment, including centre Ryan Sumner and second row Adam Middleton. We should have them back in two or three weeks.”

Another reason for optimism is the second half of the season when their first-team squad will be enlarged.

Walker explained: “We have a very young squad and hopefully we will get other young blood into the team after Christmas when the rules change again and colts can come and play.”

At least North Ribblesdale started and finished the match well, despite not scoring, regaining the ball from the initial kick-off and keeping it for the next four-and-a-half minutes.

Walker said: “The first four minutes were the best part of the game, but credit to Keighley for keeping us out. They kept their structure and they kept going forward in defence.

“They are a well-organised side and should breeze this league, but we stuck at it and had a good second half when our heads could have gone down.”

Keighley have won all of their seven matches and have 33 points.