A depleted Melton First XV missing seven regulars fell to a narrow defeat at home to Oundle on Saturday in Midlands One East.
The match was locked at 10 points apiece at the interval, with the bulk of Melton’s tally coming from a penalty try.
The second half was not a pretty spectacle as the two sides slugged it out, looking for a breakthrough.
And it was Oundle who took the match by the scruff of the neck and raced into a commanding lead with two tries in quick succession following well-worked overlaps.
Ollie Circuit scored an excellent opportunist try at the death when he followed up a restart kick and pounced on a fumble for Melton’s second try to earn a losing bonus point.
Their second loss of the season left Melton in ninth place in the early season standings.
On Saturday, Gareth Collins should have his squad back to full-strength for the trip to Paviors (kick-off 3pm).
The Nottingham side have started the season well and lie fifth after two wins from three, the latest a comeback victory at Market Rasen and Louth on Saturday.
* Syston RFC’s 100 per cent start to their first season back in Midlands One was ended when they were beaten 17-5 at title contenders Kettering.
On Saturday, they host Leighton Buzzard (kick-off 3pm).