NEIL Shillingford was left to rue a host of late injuries after Dudley Kingswinford's promotion hopes were dealt a blow by rivals Stourbridge Lions.

DK lost 11-5 at Heathbrook as they suffered their first ever loss against their near neighbours.

The disappointing derby defeat also saw DK lose further ground at Midlands One West's top two.

They are now 10 points adrift of both second-placed Bromsgrove and leaders Newbold, who remain on top on points difference.

DK were hit by the loss of Matt Perks, Nick Adams and Jordan Brookes before the game and Aaron Hudson and Keiran Williams were among those forced off during the action last Saturday.

The director of rugby said: "It was just the perfect storm of things going against us.

"We were hit by injuries on the day before the game and had to shift things around a lot. Matt Perks, Nick Adams, Jordan Brookes all missed out and we just didn't start well.

"We were still in the game and started the second half well but then the conditions changed and we had to contend with a strong wind and a heavy rain shower. We then lost our front row and had to go to uncontested scrums, which was one of the things we were strong at.

"I can't put my finger on one thing in particular, it was just a mix of all of those things that made it difficult.

"That lack of confidence from previous weeks probably hasn't helped us either."

DK head to fourth-placed Whitchurch this Saturday and Shillingford is keen for his side to reach the festive break so they can regroup heading into 2019.

He added: "We now have a really difficult test against Whitchurch. It's going to be a really tough place for us to go but all we can do is see what the bodies are like and try and move forward.

"We then have a break until the new year and I think we need that now.

"We are playing catch-up but we just need to rest up and then go again in the new year and almost treat it as a new season and see what we can do."

Jordan Brookes is absent for the trip to Whitchurch but DK will assess both Perks and Adams before the weekend, as well as Aaron Hudson (head) and Keiran Williams (nose).