Stamford College Old Boys were unable to rise up the Midlands 4 East (South) rankings after a narrow 19-14 home defeat to a strong Aylestone St James side on Saturday.
College conceded two converted tries in the opening half and, despite reducing the arrears after the break, their comeback fell just short.
The Old Boys welcomed back some returning players in Brett Matthews, Liam Greenslade and captain Haydn Johns.
Aylestone started the quicker of the two teams and put the College defence under pressure from the start, using their big runners to move up the pitch.
Aled Pattinson was a huge presence in the College defence, making hit after hit, while Matthews did his best to disrupt the ball to slow Aylestone down.
It wasn’t long before Aylestone got on the scoresheet with their winger touching down under the posts for a converted try.
College regrouped and put some phases together as Dan Bancroft went on a trademark run, handing off his opposite number he was able to offload the ball to Young.
He took the ball into contact where Fraser, Walker and Smith were there to allow Johns to give quick ball to his backs.
Aylestone soon regained possession though and made inroads in the College back line, using a pick and go and it wasn’t long before they scored another converted try.
College started the second period the better side and were camped in the Aylestone half as Bancroft intercepted an pass and ran under the posts to get Old Boys’ first score of the afternoon which Haydn Johns converted.
Aylestone again used the pick and go method which was working to their favour and they were able to score an unconverted try while College were down to 14 men as Smith received a yellow card.
Alan Flanders came into the game and made his presence known with a big hit on the Aylestone eight.
This ignited College and Hayden Johns ran the ball down the pitch and Old Boys were awarded a penalty in the red.
Johns kicked for touch, giving College a chance for a bonus point, and Pattinson caught the ball and the Old Boys pack drove for the line where Alex Walker touched down for his first try in red and green colours.
Haydn Johns converted the additional two points to make the final score 19-14 in the visitors’ favour.
College are away to Bedford Swifts on Saturday and are next at home on December 16 when they host near neighbours Bourne.
College: Pickerill, Twose, Fraser, Matthews, Walker, Morgan, Smith, Pattinson, Johns, Kippax, Brierley-Lewis, Bankcroft, Young, Greenslade, H. Johns, Houston, Durrant, Flanders.