OAKHAM took the lead at title chasers Loughborough but ended up well beaten after a second half capitulation.
The Oaks did the hard part, running into a 12-5 lead at the division’s second-placed club but allowed Loughborough to level before the interval and fell apart in a disappointing second period.
Mark Powell’s side began brightly and matched their opponents in the first half. But Powell was left frustrated by a poor second half display.
He said: “I was disappointed with the result because it was 12-12 at the end of the first half. We gave them to much respect and time in the second half.
“We were ahead 7-5 and 12-5 for a period of time but they were fit, creative and clinical. In the second half we really did not play.
“We had really committed in the first half but seemed to run out of steam in the second.”
Loughborough, along with tomorrow’s opponents Market Rasen, have pulled ahead from the rest of the division and Powell knew his team faced a tough test at Loughborough.
“I would perhaps have been happy with a narrow defeat but the result did not reflect the commitment we put in during the first half,” said Powell.
“The players do have the ability to play at this level. They played well for 40 minutes. If they can play 80 minutes like they did during the first 40 they would give anybody a run for their money.
“The more senior players need to keep that focus during games but they are not doing that to the degree that I want.”
Powell, who rarely singles out individual players for praise, added: “Will Armstrong stood out by a mile. He makes incisive runs and good tackles. He’s a quality player.
“The back row (Toby Daw, Theo Morgan and Angus Boyle) as a whole were also excellent.”
Oakham’s points on Saturday were scored by Adam Stimson and Will Armstrong, whose try came at the end of a flowing move through the middle of the park, with a conversion from Mark Matthews.
Oakham: A Stimson, W Armstrong, B Harries (J Harrison), T Burton, T Armstrong, M Matthews, T Harries, K Oliver, R Corner (D Corner), James, R Hopkins, P Gant. Rep not used: M Stimson.
l OAKHAM’s seconds beat Loughborough 4ths 27-10.