The story to emerge from Solstice Park at Bretton this afternoon (February 16) had a familiar script - Peterborough Lions did well but not well enough.
Today’s National League Two opponents were Sedgley Park, a mid-table side from Manchester, and the result was a 33-19 win for the visitors.
Reflecting on the full 80 minutes, they were deserved victors. They dominated possession, they outshoved the Lions at the scrums and they were generally sharper.
Yet it was certainly no stroll for the Park. In fact after 30 minutes it was the Lions leading and with an hour gone it was level pegging at 19-19.
But Sedgley Park ran in two well-worked tries late on to snatch a bonus-point win. The Lions return was nil and they remain firmly rooted to the foot of the table with relegation a racing certainty.
But the Lions had their moments and gave their supporters three tries to cheer.
The first came on 22 minutes but by then they were 12-0 in arrears. Ben Young was the scorer and it was his break which sent the Lions on a rare foray into the Sedgley Park 22. There Christian Edbrooke won a lineout before the ball was shipped out to Young, who finished with aplomb.
Ten minutes later and the Lions hit the front - much to everyone’s surprise.
They launched an attack from deep by Aki Lea before Suva Ma’asi, son of coach Vili, scored a superb solo effort. He delicately chipped over the opposition defensive cover, caught the ball and then raced in unopposed from 30 metres out. Young added the extras to make it 14-12 to the Lions.
The lead was short-lived though as Sedgley hit back with a converted try - a result of slack Lions defending - to turn round with a 19-14 advantage.
Eight minutes after the turnaround the Lions grabbed a third try of their own to level it up at 19-19.
Scrum-half Tom Dougherty squeezed over in the corner to make the touchdown after Marius Andrijauskas won a lineout and almost the entire pack had a drive for the line repelled. Lea went closest and missed out by a matter of inches.
The Lions applied a little bit of pressure as they scavenged for more but Sedgley ran in a fourth try on 66 minutes.
That made it 26-19 and the Lions were still on for bagging a losing bonus point. But even that was dramatically snatched away in the dying seconds to complete yet another hard luck story.
Lions: M. Lewis, J. Askham, J. Lee, C. Edbrooke, W. Nankevil, C. Gracey, A. Lea, T. Lewis, T. Dougherty, N. Defeo, K. Henderson, S. Ma’asi, S. Meyers, A. Carr, B. Young. Subs: M. Andrijauskas, S. Jackowski, J. Lewis, F. Perticaro, T. Gulland.