St Neots suffered last-gasp heartbreak in their first outing of 2019.
Johnny Berwick’s men were pipped 37-32 by Daventry in a high-scoring Midlands Division Three East (South) showdown at The Common.
There was entertainment aplenty as Saints came from behind in both halves before suffering a sucker-punch in the dying moment.
They opened the scoring as the overlapping Matt Cartwright touched down for the first try, but three unanswered scores and a penalty soon put Daventry in command.
Saints cut their arrears before the break as Cartwright was the beneficiary of some brilliant work from full-back Kieran Rook and an Aiden Jordan try early in the second half moved them to within a point of the visitors.
But a powerful Daventry side responded with two more scores – both arriving courtesy of drives following set-pieces – to open up a 15-point cushion with 15 minutes to play.
Any thoughts of Saints accepting their fate were soon dispelled as they mounted another rousing recovery which was launched by hooker Jack Hayward bursting over the line.
His try was soon followed by a Jordan brace as he completed his hat-trick to bring Saints level in the closing stages.
But their hard work proved to be in vain as Daventry reverted to type and their forwards mauled their way over the Saints line for a dramatic winning try.
Saints go to Dunstablians this Saturday.