Dunstablians went down to a 52-10 defeat at Midlands Three East South promotion-chasers Long Buckby on Saturday.
With their opponents needing a bonus point win to secure promotion and Dees sitting safely in the top half of the table, the impetus was always going to be with the home side.
Poor discipline at the breakdown area once again proved to be Dees’ Achilles heel and four of Long Buckby’s five first half tries were as a direct result of penalties.
Each time the home side would kick into the corner and use the driving maul, from a lineout to clock up more points.
With the halftime score at 33-3, as all Dees had to show for their efforts was a Kevin Boland penalty, the game was almost already over.
However the ‘never say die’ attitude, in the face of overwhelming odds, shown by the visitors in the second half lifted the gloom somewhat.
Long Buckby looked to play a scrum and lineout dominated game and did so very well.
However, whenever Dunstablians got the ball they looked like they could score from anywhere on the pitch.
Within 10 minutes of the start of the second half, Dees stole the ball from Buckby in their own 22m area.
Some excellent handling coupled with great footwork from Boland got the ball to winger Max Thorne.
He broke from his own 22m area to score a try, running the length of the pitch, it what was to be the highlight of Dunstablians’ afternoon.
A Boland conversion took the score to 33-10.
For the remainder of the game Buckby were just better at finishing moves and scoring their points.
Dunstablians were never really out of the match and were still very competitive to the very last whistle.
Chris Chandler and Ray Carry both had strong games in the counter ruck area, while skipper Aaron White-Martinez led the defensive game, as usual, from the front.
Although up against a well drilled side, the young Dunstablians side deserve a great deal of credit for their performance as there is a good culture growing within a young group of players.
This weekend, they are at home to fifth-placed Northampton BBOB.
Dees: Chris Chandler, Nathan Aris, Aaron White Martinez, Raymond Carry, Richard Cope, Nathan Dominique, Reeve Harnett, Rhys Thomas, Joshua Klymyszyn, Kevin Boland, Max Thorne, Tarkan Kranda, Scott Warren, Mattie Anderson, Toby Mead.
Replacements: Glenn Brinkley, William Peck, Liam Jenkinson.