MATT Farr has admitted Winnington Park have progressed more quickly than he expected but he is confident they can sustain a challenge on three fronts.

His unbeaten side heads to Wath Upon Dearne on Saturday to play an RFU Senior Vase quarter-final.

If they prevail, they will be one win away from appearing in the final at Twickenham.

A place in the Cheshire RFU Bowl final is secure already, while a sequence of 17 wins has established a five-point lead at the South Lancs/Cheshire Division Two summit.

But the head coach, appointed as successor to Roger Pickering last summer, won’t let standards slip.

He said: “We are ahead of where I expected to be at this stage.

“The players deserve credit for that though; they’ve learned quickly, and adjusted to what we’ve asked of them.

“Our goal is the same though, and that’s to be promoted.

“That hasn’t changed because of the run we’ve been on, and at no stage have we said we want to reach the end of the season having beaten everybody we’ve played against.

“We can’t think like that.”

They were run close by Whitehaven last Saturday, but overturned a 13-3 interval deficit to record a victory that sent them through in the RFU Senior Vase as pool winners.

A similar scenario unfolded away to Orrell last month, when they recovered from 10-0 down by the break to triumph.

Farr said: “It was probably our worst performance of the season there, but we found a way to dig ourselves out of a hole.

“While I wasn’t happy with how we played, it was still satisfying to see us respond like that.

“We’ll be asked questions again in the coming weeks too, but there is a belief within the group that we’ll be good enough to provide an answer.”

Ominously for Park’s rivals, Farr told the Guardian there is plenty of room for improvement within the first-team ranks at Burrows Hill.

As an absolute minimum, they need to be back playing at a level they dropped down from in 2016.

“We’ve a job to finish,” added Farr.

“But it’s true as well that we’re trying to form habits now that can help us to compete against stronger sides next season.

“This is still a young side and, while there are a handful of experienced guys, there is so much potential to realise.”