Daventry’s four-match winning run came to an end as they were edged out 10-5 by Rushden & Higham in Midlands Three East (South) on Saturday.
The first 20 minutes was a very close-fought affair with both teams making good tackles in defence and both teams looking for a weakness. It was Rushden that made the breakthough before the break, scoring a converted try to go 7-0 up.
Daventry hit back and were inches away from a try of their own, the Rushden full-back doing superbly to deny Adam Whitehead.
The All Blacks were on top at this point, and we awarded two chances of penalties to get back in the game, but they missed them both, and they were made to pay as Rushden landed a penalty of their own to lead 10-0 at half-time.
Daventry got themselves on the scoreboard at the start of the second half, with John Watters dotting down after good work by the pack.
At 10-5 it was game on, but injuries to key men Jordan Brown, Chris Appleby and prop Andy Moore upset the Daventry rhythm.
The All Blacks pressed hard and were camped on the Rushden try-line for long periods, but the visitors’ kept them out and it stayed 10-5.
Daventry were still happy with their performance against a team going well in the league, and to who they lost 43-14 earlier in the season.
Lee Cresswell was named man of the match for Daventry.
The All Blacks are back in action on Saturday when they host neighbours Long Buckby in the Alliance Cup at Stefen Hill. Kick-off is at 2.15pm.
LATE TRY ROBS BUCKBY OF WIN AT CASUALS
A try four minutes from time condemned Long Buckby to an agonising 13-10 East Midlands Three (South) defeat at Northampton Casuals.
Buckby led this tight match 10-8 going into the closing stages, but home pressure eventually told and the visitors had to make do with a losing bonus point.
It looked like the difficult conditions would favour the home side’s much larger pack. However, the Buckby pack were superb, and in particular loose head Will Howells and back row Connor Gallagher.
Buckby got off to the perfect start as they scored a converted try after just 12 minutes.
Gallagher was the man to score after good work from Ryan Clarke and Dave Allen, with Jonny Palmer adding the extras to make it 7-0.
On 20 minutes, Casuals replied with an unconverted try, and seven minutes later the home side took the lead for the first time when they slotted a penalty.
Trailing 8-7 at the break, Buckby started the stronger of the sides in the second half and with 25 minutes remaining they edged ahead as Palmer’s penalty made it 10-8 to the visitors. Casuals then piled on the pressure, but Buckby - who were unsettled by an eye injury to Nick Dixon and a dislocated shoulder suffered by Dave Allen - were eventually undone as the home side scored to go 13-10 up.
In the final few minutes Buckby struggled to get control of the ball, and Casuals saw out the game for the win.
Buckby make the short trip to local rivals Daventry on Saturday for an Alliance Cup clash (ko 2.15pm).