Boston Buccaneers’ winning streak came to an end with a 26-22 loss at a wet and windy Buxton on Saturday.
However, the Buccs remain second in the Midlands Premier.
Despite player unavailability, Boston made the 180-mile round trip with a squad of 17.
The Buccaneers welcomed back wing Jaron Cowern and prop Matt Coley to the team.
Buxton were keen to avenge their heavy defeat at the hands of the Buccaneers earlier in the season and started well, scoring three unanswered tries in the first 20 minutes.
Despite having much of the possession, the Buccaneers’ frustrating penalty count prevented them from scoring.
On the stroke of half time, the Buccaneers managed to score after a great pass from scrum half Wayne Harley put Daniel Mackie in at the corner.
The second half started brightly for the away side, following Buxton knocking on at the kick off.
Will Scupham and skipper Jim Dearing punched the ball through defenders, leaving hooker John Stanfield to scoot over from close range.
Harley added the extras to bring the score to 10-14.
Despite some heroic defending from Alex Ioannou, Mike Knock and Liam Croker, the Bulls exploited gaps in the defence and extended their lead to 26-14 with only 20 minutes remaining.
The Buccaneers dug deep and, for the remainder of the game, pressured a tiring Bulls defence.
Great work by full back Chris Wells moved the ball upfield and, with 10 metres to go, the ball came out to prop Ioannou, who bulldozed his way over defenders for the score.
The pressure continued and, despite the monsoon-like conditions, the Buccaneers clung onto the ball.
Strong carries and tackling from Deano Deane helped give the Buccaneers great field position.
Stanfield saw half a gap and looked to score only to be fouled.
However, he would not be denied and managed to cross the whitewash after the re-start to bring the scores 26-22.
Time was not on the Buccaneers’ side and the final whistle blew with them five metres from the Bulls try line.
Ioannou was named man of the match for his punishing running and merciless tackling.
Next week the Buccaneers travel to Derby City.
BUCCANEERS: Wells, Baldwin, Cowern, Croker, Knock, Cook, Speight, Harley, Ioannou, Coley, Stanfield, Scupham, Piggins, Deane, Dearing, Kippax, Mackie.