LIVERPOOL St Helens couldn’t produce the sort of performance that has carried them to the top of North One West, last Saturday against Carlisle.
The 19-15 defeat against a team that outplayed them on the day leaves the Moss Laners in second place, two points behind Sale.
In what is developing into a four horse race to reach the National Leagues, Carlisle and Vale of Lune are just three and four points behind.
LSH reach the Christmas break having lost the least games in the division – two.
Director of rugby, Martin Jones, praises the commitment and effort from his players which has put them in their current position but now that even more is needed in the New Year.
He said: “We nearly made it last year and have seen what it takes. We all need to move up a gear and the hard work is just beginning.”
Altrincham Kersal away is their next game on January 5. The break will also give Mark Devine, Dave Cunliffe, Mark Wilcox, Paul McLindon and John Pape more time to recover from the injuries that have prevented them from playing a full part so far.