OLD HALESONIANS RFC have been handed a play-off lifeline after rivals Sutton Coldfield and Nuneaton both slipped up last weekend.

Third-placed Hales are now within striking distance of second-placed Sutton following a 31-15 away victory against Longton last Saturday.

The gap stands at just three points as the sides enter the final game of the National League Three Midlands campaign.

Hales will welcome Lymm this Saturday while Sutton play at home against Bournville.

Team manager Simon Hussey says his side will only be focused on finishing the season on a high.

He said: "We have been given a chance that we didn't expect, but we still need Sutton Coldfield to lose and for us to win.

"Our main priority will be to focus on our game and to end the season with a victory. Only after will we look and see where that takes us. It is nice to still be in with a chance but it is out of our hands."

Hales kept themselves in the play-off picture thanks to last weekend's win against Longton.

Full back Chris Hooper opened the scoring when he joined the line, collected the ball, sold a class dummy to wrong foot the defence and went over for an unconverted try.

The home side hit back when a driving maul saw their prop go over to level. But Hales took a lead into the break after Nathan Jones sprinted for the line.

More pressure from the visitors in the second period saw them quickly move into a 31-5 lead. With 20 minutes to go, Longton fought back with two unconverted tries.

Saturday's game against Lymm will also be Presidents' Day from 12.30pm.