Towcestrians succumbed to a battling 24-13 defeat against South West One East league leaders Oxford Harlequins at the weekend.
With a large crowd in attendance, Oxford fielded a strong side for the eagerly-anticipated encounter, but Tows were evidently fired up and took the lead midway through the first half through a James Falvey penalty after continual pressure from the hosts.
However, the lead was short-lived as Harlequins scored a converted try against the run of play when the ball bounced kindly for Zac Norris to score.
That appeared to settle Quins as they then showed their attacking prowess, with Keni Fisilau finishing for the second converted try, giving Quins a 11-point lead at half time.
Tows started the second half brightly, again pressuring Quins and this time resulting in a deserved try when a driving maul set up George Symonds to score out wide. Falvey again slotting the conversion.
Falvey then followed that up with a penalty to put the match in the balance at 13-14.
Tows forwards were now ready to take the game to the Quins as a five metre scrum resulted in two penalties for Towcester, only for Quins to disrupt the ball on the third scrum attempt.
Quins then showed their class as they made a rare foray into the Tows half and clinical finishing saw them clinch victory. Dean Seals scored the winning try which was converted by Moses Latch before Latch notched a late penalty.
Meanwhile, Tows IIs hammered Peterborough Lions 94-0 and Tows IIIs beat Milton Keynes 55-5 but Tows Colts were beaten 41-3 by Bedford Athletic Blues.