Whitchurch coach Scott Sturdy believes the defeat to Newbold-on-Avon has given the Reds a reality check.

Sturdy said the narrow 15-10 defeat showed that the Reds, despite their commendable efforts, still have work to do if they are to beat the best in the division.

“It shows to me that we have got a bit more development to go when we play against the better teams,” he said. “If we can’t beat the top two, then we are going to struggle at the level above.

“Newbold were better in the key moments, showed a bit more composure and took more of their chances.

“We had the territory, possession and pressure in the first 25 minutes, and should have scored maybe two or three tries. When they were down in numbers, we needed to make it count.”

He added: “Second place seems a long way off now and, with us in no danger of going down, motivation is going to be the key for the rest of the season.

“We now need to bounce back, get some momentum going again and do ourselves justice in the remaining games. However things pan out, it has been an excellent season.

“We now need to go again on Saturday against Old Halesonians who are 13 points below us. They would have been frustrated to have lost 22-0 to us at home, so I expect them to come out with all guns blazing.”