The Boston Buccaneers went down to a spirited Nottingham Outlaws team, after a late fightback.
It had been a difficult week for the Buccaneers’ coaching staff, who had 10 starting players unavailable.
However, the 17 squad members who travelled gave it their all.
Midlands Premier debuts were handed to Matt Bray, Dan Piggins, Ben Woollaston, Scott Brown and John Fowlie.
The Buccaneers struck after three minutes when centre Ben Woollaton powered over the line and Matt Bray added the conversion.
The Outlaws came straight back with a try of their own.
Stand-in hooker Will Scupham ensured that the ball was fed out to the backs, and it wasn’t long before man of the match Chris Kellock spotted a gap in the Outlaws defence and popped the ball to Aaron Evison for his first of two tries.
Marc Miles replaced the injured Woollaston and was immediately in the action, running onto a great ball by Tom Andrews and scoring under the posts. Again Bray converted.
The Buccaneers’ next try came from some superb teamwork by Kellock, Miles and Andrews before Evison sprinted the remaining 20 metres to dive over in the corner.
The Outlaws scored the final try of the half.
Boston began the second half on the front foot and, after a try was adjudged to have been held up, the Buccaneers started on the 10 metre line.
George Baldwin scored in the corner after the ball had passed through the hands of Scupham, Andrews, Bray and Craig Dowse.
The try of the match saw Scotty Brown feed Kellock, who would not be denied from 35 metres out. Bray added the extras.
With a scoreline of 30-18 the Outlaws made the most of some penalty decisions to reduce the scoreline to 30-28, before completing their comeback at the death.
On Saturday the Buccaneers entertain Coventry Dragons (2.30pm).
BOSTON: J. Stanfield, Piggins, Woollaston, Evison, Baldwin, Andrews, Bray, Hamnett, Brown, Scupham, J.W. Stanfield, Johnson, Fowlie, Dowse, Miles, Kellock, Dearing.