Towcestrians put up a valiant fight but eventually fell to a spirited 13-7 defeat to rampant league leaders Oxford Harlequins at the weekend.
Despite always trailing, Tows fought until the final whistle and were rewarded with a late converted try that earned them what could prove to be a crucial bonus-point in their quest for promotion from South West One East.
Travelling to take on the runaway leaders, who have lost just once in 16 games this season, Tows quickly found themselves pinned into their own 22 by early pressure and a strong wind, with the Quins slotting a penalty for a 3-0 lead.
Under further pressure, Tows dug in and put up a stout defence to frustrate the home crowd in a keenly-fought and energy-sapping contest.
Despite two yellow cards reducing Tows to 13, still they managed to thwart the continuous line out drives, however Quins did manage tobag a second penalty before half time.
It was then Quins’ turn to play against the wind, as a change of tempo saw the hosts finally breakthrough Tows’ stubborn defending.
Taking a quick lineout, Oxford caught Tows off-guard and allowed them the chance to batter the Tows line, before at last the ball was spread to centre Kenni who forced his way over for a converted try.
Quinns then spent the rest of the half defending their lead with a brutal storm making for treacherous conditions, but Tows’ late bombardment on the home line was rewarded when the lighter Tows pack managed a tremendous effort to drive over the line.
Chrissie George scored the resulting try and Matt Yuill coolly slotted the conversion to claim a hard-earned bonus point with the game’s last kick.
Tows, who remain third, are without a fixture this weekend. Elsewhere, Tows IIIs won 19-0 at BBOB IIIs but the Colts lost 43-0 to Bedford.