HUNTINGDON STAGS 19-20 LINCOLN RFC || STAGS had a week off from the league programme but could not maintain last week's good form, as they lost narrowly to Lincoln in the Intermediate Cup. Both teams struggled for the first-half ascendency, with a blustery wind and occasional showers adding to the difficulty. Lincoln took an early lead through a well-taken penalty, but a Stags counter-attack gave Heath Crawford the chance to level at 3-3 with a penalty of his own. Following some good midfield play, with excellent harrying of the opposition around the scrum by Ben Strangeways, Lincoln were awarded another penalty for a high tackle, which their kicker sent through the posts. Lincoln then conceded a penalty for the same offence and Crawford again made no mistake. After another Lincoln penalty, taking the score to 6-9, Stags found strength in defence to hold off their visitors. Counter-attacking from near their own line, Stags broke with James Thorpe setting up Strangeways to touch down a try. The kick was converted by Crawford for a 13-9 lead at the break. Early penalties in the second half saw Stags' lead cut to 16-15, but Lincoln made the decisive score when their pressure play was rewarded with a try for a 16-20 lead. With the game winding down, the ever-reliable boot of Crawford brought Stags to within a point at 19-20. But Lincoln defended stoutly, and Stags could not make it through for the points that would have brought victory. Stags host Leicester Forest in a crucial league match next week. Kick-off is at 2.30pm and all are welcome. The Stags play their home matches at the Racecourse Ground and all prospective new players are welcome. Training is on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the ground, so just turn up and introduce yourself. Alternatively, the club can be contacted via the website www.huntingdonrufc.co.uk.