Huntingdon have ended 2017 one place and one point above the Midlands Division One East relegation zone.

Action from Huntingdon's clash against Syston. Picture: ALLISON REMZIAction from Huntingdon's clash against Syston. Picture: ALLISON REMZI

They suffered a fifth successive defeat when going down 41-5 to table-topping Syston at The Racecourse last Saturday.

Possession for Stags, but points for Syston became the theme of a game in which the hosts gave an encouraging account of themselves.

They restricted the leaders to two tries in the first half when a 12-0 scoreline reflected both Stags’ inability to seriously threaten and the visitors’ ruthlessness.

It was a position which meant the next try would be particularly crucial in determining the outcome. It was perhaps no surprise that went to Syston following a quick break.

Action from Huntingdon's clash against Syston. Picture: ALLISON REMZIAction from Huntingdon's clash against Syston. Picture: ALLISON REMZI

Alex Anthony capped a man-of-the-match display by replying with Stags’ solitary score after scampering through the Syston defence to touch down, but the leaders responded with four further tries – two of them gained after Stags had Russ Polson yellow-carded.

Things are not about to get any easier for Stags in the new year. Their first outing of 2018 is a January 6 trip to second-placed Bedford Athletic.