After four weeks without a game, the Boston Buccaneers made the trip to Mansfield to face the Sherwood Wolfhunt in their final Midlands Premier League game of the season.
Despite Boston handing debuts to a few players, confidence was high having beaten Wolfhunt in their previous two encounters.
Travelling supporters were treated to an end-to-end contest with both sides giving everything. On this occasion it was the Wolfhunt who hung on to claim their first victory over the Buccaners.
The Wolfhunt were quickest out of the blocks and within 10 minutes Boston were 10 points behind.
From this point on The Buccs were always trying to chase down a Sherwood lead.
Despite having to defend for much of the first half, the Buccaneers did show signs of the great flowing and fast-paced rugby that has become their trademark.
From the resulting re-start, fullback Jordan Cleaver collected the ball from the try line, made good yards before passing to centre Conor Holmes, who weaved his way through the Wolfhunt defenders before he offloaded to Jim Dearing.
Hooker John Stanfield then passed back to Holmes, who ran a great line to score.
However, what started to look like a Boston revival was soon stopped in its tracks by a Sherwood unit who ran in three unanswered scores.
A succession of penalties and poor ball handling ensured that Boston spent much of the first half defending.
Michael Baldwin and Jim Dearing put in tackle after tackle, eventually winning the ball back for Boston.
In a 10-minute period the Buccaneers finally broke through the tough Wolfhunt line, first with Jamie Jenkins - who forced his way over on his debut only for it to be ruled held up.
Boston were not to be denied and from the drop out Daniel Mackie scored a great solo effort in the corner.
A second try was scored minutes later when captain Craig Dowse bowled his way over from short range.
At halftime Boston trailed 14-26.
The second half started well for Boston, who were now getting the ball out to their backs.
Cory Stobart stepped in at hooker and immediately stamped out his authority.
From 30 metres out, Stobart fed Mackie who found Thomas Howlett on a charge and, after rounding two defenders, he scored under the posts.
Boston were now back in the game at 20-26.
Just as coach Mark Bean was beginning to think that the tide was tuning the Wolfhunt scored two more tries.
The Buccaneers refused to throw in the towel and hard running by Will Scupham and work horse Steve Kippax made huge inroads into Wolfhunt territory. Their hard work was rewarded when centre Jamie Jenkins powered over for a try in the corner.
Time, however, was against the Buccaneers, and despite a consolation try by Daniel Mackie the Wolfhunt ran out 44-30 winners.
Man of the Match was Will Scupham for his powerful elusive running in the middle of the park.
Boston end the season in a creditable sixth place.
This has ensured a home Plate semi final play-off game vs Derby RLFC on Saturday, August 15.
BOSTON: Dowse, Stanfield, Beever, Mackie, Andrews, Andrews, Stobart, Holmes, Johnson, Howlett, Cowern, Cleaver, M. Baldwin, Dearing, Jenkins, G. Baldwin, Scupham, Piggins, Kippax.