WITH most of National League Two North having just four matches left, Wharfedale are back in a relegation berth.

Blaydon, 30-0 winners over second-from-bottom Luctonians on Saturday, have climbed above the Dalesmen.

But after proving themselves the equals in many ways of top two Sale and Sedgley Park in their last two outings, the Greens now need to take the confidence from those performances into the contests at eighth-placed South Leicester (Saturday) and third-placed Tynedale (April 21) and home matches against Hinckley (April 14), who are fifth, and Macclesfield (April 28), who are ninth.

Not taking their opportunities in the opposition 22 has become a familiar theme for Wharfedale in the past few weeks, but Rob Baldwin, who is taking over as director of rugby next season, said: "There are no world-beaters in this division and the lads are not downbeat at all."

More difficult than maintaining their spirit could be maintaining their players.

Baldwin added: "Kieran Frost is away this weekend but may fly back, while George Hedgley could be suspended for three yellow cards, but we may appeal against last weekend's sin-binning for his over-zealous celebration. We thought it was a bit harsh."

Wharfedale's home match against Sedgley Park last Thursday, which the Greens lost 31-24, proved an excellent occasion, with Baldwin saying that the atmosphere was perhaps even better than on a Saturday.

But, as is so often the case in close matches, the result came down to fine margins.

Baldwin explained: "We thought it was a tough call when Kieran was penalised on the halfway line for making contact with their jumper in a line-out as we thought that he had timed his challenge well.

"Also we might have got a penalty try when they twice pulled down a driving maul, but no-one was complaining about it afterwards."

A bigger problem for the Greens was their lack of a fit hooker.

Baldwin said: "Larks (Ian Larkin) would not have started had Dan Stockdale, whose shoulder was a problem, been fit, but Larks battled on until half-time and probably should have come off ten minutes before that.

"Then Jake Parkinson replaced him and was doing really well with his tackling around the fringes until he came off in the 54th minute.

"We didn't have a hooker then but back-rower Chris Swainson volunteered, having done some hooking when he was younger, and we only lost one further line-out."