WILMSLOW will enter 2020 on top of the North One West.

Regardless of the result on Saturday when Keswick visit the Memorial Ground, the Wolves’ lead at the top of the pile will be safe until after the Christmas break.

The challenge for coach Chris Jones and his players now is to come down from the high of beating nearest challengers Birkenhead Park in order to face the league’s bottom side.

Saturday’s opponents are struggling, but Jones says that makes them dangerous.

“Keswick now becomes the most important game of the season,”he said

“They’re a proud club, they have nothing to lose and will be up for it.”

The odds will naturally be in Wilmslow’s favour – Saturday’s 24-22 win on the Wirral was their fourth in a row and perhaps their most significant of the season to date.

They now lead Birkenhead by nine points to firmly rubber-stamp their credentials for bouncing immediately back to the Northern Premier.

“Performances like that just don’t happen by chance,” Jones said.

“It was testament to all the hard work and effort from the players since last summer.

“Their defence has been getting stronger week by week but on this occasion, it was unbelievable.”

Not that it started too well – Wilmslow coughed up possession inside the opening minute which led to Sam Tyrer touching down for the hosts.

The Wolves’ ball retention continued to be sloppy but eventually, they got their act together as Jamie Kingdon and Ethan Harding combined to send Ben Day over, with Bob MacCallum converting.

Park regained the lead moments later as several drives from a penalty lineout led to Jack Ashcroft scoring, but back came Wilmslow again as a lineout move of their own put Alex Taylor over in the corner.

With the game poised at 12-12 going into the break, the hosts again nosed ahead with a penalty before Wilmslow got their third try.

Excellent handling ended with Seb Pemberton bursting clear down the left wing and floating the perfect pass for Sean Street to cross unopposed.

Park once again utilised their pack to bludgeon their way across the whitewash but the to-and-fro nature of the contest continued as Wilmslow opened up the home defence again to send Street over for a second time.

The hosts worked themselves up the field, with the aid of a couple of penalties, in search of a winning score and they looked like they had got it when Wilmslow infringed again within kicking range.

However, they opted to go for the try but Wilmslow’s defence was heroic in holding them at bay to secure the win.