WILMSLOW Wolves were ground down at key moments as they lost for a sixth time in seven Northern Premier League matches this season.

Wilmslow scored five tries to Sandal’s six in the 46-29 defeat, while Bob MacCullum managing just four points with the boot was not the reason they fell again.

Head coach Rick Jones sees that some of his players are still to fight their feet at the higher level following promotion.

“We’re capable of living at this level but we have to defend much better than we are doing and we have to stop making it so difficult for ourselves by cutting out the mistakes,” he said.

“There were some outstanding performances. Jonny Kennedy is just getting better and better, Mike Clifford and Adam Hewitt too.

“Alex Donaldson probably had his best game of the season.

“Some of the others were not so far behind but there are still a number who will have to raise their game if the Wolves are to start getting more than the occasional losing bonus point.

“That’s the challenge they face.”

Wilmslow led 12-5 midway through the first half.

Wolves stole a lineout for Kennedy to break through and his offload saw lock Mike Clifford gallop away for the opening score.

Wolves were turned over at the restart and after a penalty for a high tackle Will Morecambe scrambled over for the equalising score.

A catch and drive allowed prop Jordan Ayrey to restore the Wilmslow lead.

Wolves fouled up the restart again and after a series of phases number eight Alex Edler scored Sandal’s second try, which Wood converted. They never lost the lead thereafter.

MacCallum’s restart was ruled not to have gone ten metres and soon after prop Tom Baxter ambled in for Sandal’s third try.

After Sean Street was held up on the line early in the second half, Alex Donaldson was present to score.

Wolves continued to attack but when Sandal got the ball away from a backward moving scrum, a fierce break by their outside centre shredded the Wilmslow defence, enabling Edler to finish off.

Wolves lost a lineout, then got penalised at the breakdown, the pressure just built up and Austen Thompson went in for the fifth try.

Taylor scored from a lineout drive, Sandal added two penalties before Wilmslow’s Adam Hewitt got himself yellow carded for fighting.

Sean Street followed a minute later for a professional foul but with 13 men Wolves managed a good move to put right winger James Coulthurst in for their fifth try before Sandal wrapped up the contest with a score straight from the re-start.