EDF Senior Vase Huntingdon Stags 14 Loughborough 15 STAGS were left wondering how they managed to finish on the losing side after outplaying their opponents for long periods. The home side shrugged off the loss of injured Damien Whales after 20 minutes an

EDF Senior Vase

Huntingdon Stags 14 Loughborough 15

STAGS were left wondering how they managed to finish on the losing side after outplaying their opponents for long periods.

The home side shrugged off the loss of injured Damien Whales after 20 minutes and the need to re-jig their three quarters but the visitors still snatched the win.

Once again the Stags were out-rucked and for the first time this season were seen to struggle at the set scrum.

The opening exchanges were even but one sparkling backs move by Stags seemed to hint at things to come. However, it was not sustained and Loughborough conjured up two tries from nothing on the right before the interval to go in at half-time 12-0 ahead.

The second half saw the Stags take the game to their opponents with the back row especially prominent as the visitors were put firmly on the back foot.

The much-needed try took a long time coming but James Thorp, who put in a storming performance throughout the game, smashed his way over from 10 yards and Ben Strangeways converted.

There was still 20 minutes of the match remaining and enough time for the Stags to win this game but at a time when they could ill afford to concede a penalty, Charlie Cook found himself offside, giving the visitors an opportunity that they grabbed with both hands, kicking the penalty to take a 15-7 lead.

With five minutes remaining Thorp got his second try, this time from 20 yards out, and Strangeways' conversion kick meant that victory for Stags was still possible but the visitors hung on.

* Stags' second XV continued their imperious march putting over 40 points on Stewarts and Lloyds seconds while the third XV had their first outing of the season, eventually going down 24-7 at Oundle.

* Stags visit Leicester to play the Vipers on Saturday.

EDF Senior Vase

Deepings 45 St Neots 0

SAINTS found this match up against their promotion rivals from the last league campaign a bridge too far.

St Neots kicked off hoping to apply some early pressure on the home team but a well worked if opportunistic try put Deepings into the driving seat and with their well drilled team looking to capitalise on this position worse was to follow.

An erratic lineout hampered the visitors and the home side repeatedly found gaps in the Saints defences to leave them well-beaten.