Peterborough and Oundle, the two sides promoted from Midlands Division Two last season, both suffered narrow opening day defeats in Division One.
Borough were at big rivals Huntingdon and led the Stags for almost the entire game.
But a last-minute penalty, Stags’ seventh of the match, saw them nick a 21-20 victory.
Tad Chapman kicked all the Huntingdon points while Borough crossed for two tries - scored by Mooki Tshepo-Olebile and Rob Moulds - and had Joe Andresen kick two conversions and two penalties.
Tshepo-Olebile, from South Africa, was one of five Borough debutants. The others were Billy Bates and Nick Borkett from Shelford, Michael Watts from Spalding and Hayden Wyber from New Zealand.
They caught the eye only occasionally with full-back Bates the pick of the bunch.
Sarel Pretorius at number eight was Borough’s best player until going off midway through the second half with a rib injury.
Borough also lost Nico Steenkamp to a yellow card round about the same time.
Borough entertain Kettering at Fengate on Saturday (3pm) and that will be a very tough game.
Kettering finished close runners-up to Newbold-on-Avon last season and are tipped by many to go one better this term.
They made a huge summer signing in the shape of prop Brett Sturgess, who has spent the last eight years at Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs, and their scrum-half is an England international. He’s Tom Bridgman and plays for the England Deaf XV.
Last weekend Kettering beat Paviors at home 38-20.
Oundle were at Leighton Buzzard and were pipped 41-38. They did pick up two points though - a losing bonus point and another for scoring four tries.
Their tries came from Vernon Horne (2), Tom Oliver, Robb Shingles and Simon New with Will Carrington, their new recruit from Peterborough Lions, kicking three penalties and two conversions.
Oundle are at home to Market Rasen this Saturday.