DETERMINED Dudley Kingswinford director of rugby Neil Shillingford has vowed to keep the pressure on promotion rivals Newbold and Whitchurch as they embark on another testing local derby this week.

The DKs make the short trip to Old Halesonians' Wassell Grove ground looking to cement second spot in Midlands One West.

It follows DK’s narrow 20-17 reverse against National Midlands side Bridgnorth last Friday night in the North Midlands Cup Final which took place at Stourton Park.

Despite the defeat, DK emerged with considerable credit, especially as they could have snatched victory right at the death but goalkicker Sam Vaughan was unable to land a tricky last ditch penalty.

Shillingford said: “If Sam had scored, we would have won. With no extra time, the outcome would have gone down to the side who scored first as everything else would have been level.

“But to be fair to Sam, the kick was on his wrong side.

“The most important thing was that we gave a really good account of ourselves against higher ranked opposition and people were very complimentary about us after the game.

“We were playing a team from the division above – a place where we want to be ourselves next season and it’s nice to see where we would stand.

“I think the idea of playing the North Midlands Cup Final on a Friday night really worked. There was a decent sized crowd and the quality of the match only added to the occasion.

“But we must now take that quality of performance into our final four league fixtures."

Shillingford believes the race for runners-up spot could go right down to the final Saturday of the season with just one point separating the three sides involved.

He was aware that plenty of Halesonians players and coaches attended the cup final and said: “I hope we gave them plenty to think about and I’m sure they’ll be wary of us. They will want to stop our ambitions.

“But we can only concentrate on our own performance. If we play to the same standard that we produced on Friday night, it should stand us in good stead.

“It’s most important that we pick up five points this Saturday to keep the pressure on our rivals.