AN INJURY crisis the like of which director of rugby Neil Mitchell has never known as a coach or a player is threatening Stourbridge’s promotion hopes.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield the club has no fewer than 12 of 28 first team members on the treatment table after a chaotic defeat at Leicester Lions last weekend.

The home side, seeing their quarry on the ropes, were ruthless as they swept to a 42-17 win - Stourbridge’s first defeat since last November.

Mitchell said: “Inside the opening seven minutes Ben Hughes had limped off while Stef Shillingford had also gone off with a hamstring tear that he had heavily strapped.”

The catalogue of disasters continued as Alex Moy had a debut to forget after tearing ankle ligaments, flanker Eji Uzoigwe was carried off, while Mark George picked up an injury Mitchell felt was a consequence of his side trying to plug too many gaps.

And by the end Nathan Bressington, after damaging a knee cartilage, was merely a passenger on the wing as the hosts ran in three tries in a seven minute spell.

“I was trying to get the message on to just let it happen in the end - it was an absolute rout. They saw what was happening and took advantage and we would have done the same if roles were reversed.

“Three tries in seven minutes against the best defence in this league, who haven’t lost since last November, tells the story.

“I can’t be critical of the team in that situation - the supporters were all just shaking their heads as well - you simply can’t cater for that scenario.

“I may have to be consulting my black book to call in favours for this weekend.

“We’ve had two players seen by specialists already, are waiting on the result of an MRI scan for another, and all the medical staff, physios and doctors met on Sunday. It’s a tough situation - but we have to get on with it.”

The hosts took advantage of the disruption to force flanker Drew Rudkin over from short range in the ninth minute.

But no.8 Chris Depper scored from a short-range catch and drive and then Stour forced two yellow cards for cynical ‘red-zone’ defensive offences. Referee Callum Howard then awarded a penalty try as they transgressed again with Gareth Bown converting.

Jon Williams added a penalty kick to his earlier successful conversion, his second successful penalty shortly after establishing 13-12 half-time lead. But second-half tries from Devon Constant (2), Rob Young and Olly Taylor gave Lions the win and a late Jamie Hearn score was only a consolation.