Shaw Cross Sharks head coach Paul March said that there is still “a lot of hope” for his side after Saturday’s 44-0 defeat at Leigh Miners Rangers.
Sharks went down to a heavy scoreline but March was quick to praise the players who made the trip.
“I know we’ve taken a heavy defeat but give massive credit to the whole team because we’ve got nine players on a stag do.
“We’ve been struggling in recent weeks to get numbers and we’ve come here with 17 players, which just proves that people from Shaw Cross are putting their hand up to make sure we get players on the field.
“Dan Cass from the under 18s had another big impact today. Danny Grainger’s come back off holiday and I think he’s got our Man of the Match so credit to him, and Neil Watters, who we only phoned at a quarter to 12 to come so we had 17, put his hand up and a few players are saying why haven’t you been here other weeks!”
March paid tribute to the quality of the opposition, with the Miners now on a ten-match winning streak.
“They’re probably the best side that we’ve played all year with the ball, they throw a lot of shape at you and at times they made us look a bit silly in defence.”
While away trips have been tough, the Sharks have won their last two home matches, and with six still to come March believes that there is every chance of escaping relegation.
“There’s a lot of hope, I don’t think it’s dead and buried. We’ve got six teams at home and one away, and every team that we’re playing is in around us so we’ve got to take positives from the Milford game [the last home win].
“From minute one to minute 80 I thought we controlled that game really well, but don’t get me wrong there were some positives to take out of today and take out of the Thornhill game as well so we’re not all negative.
“It’s just about making sure we turn up each week. We want the lads to enjoy coming to play for Shaw Cross and that’s what we’ve done today, even with a defeat.
“I hate losing, I absolutely hate it, but it’s about making sure we are where we are next year and these next six games are massive for us.”
Updated 16:28 - 16 Jul 2018 by Stephen Ibbetson