Ampthill eventually emerged victorious by 45 points to 29 in a high-scoring and topsy-turvy game against Luctonians at Dillingham Park.
Amps took a two-try lead, but were pegged back by the visitors, before extending the advantage with four more tries.
Scores were then exchanged, before Luctonians clinically used their numerical advantage in the last 10 minutes to secure a deserved bonus point.
Ampthill right winger Darrell Dyer scored the first of a hat-trick of tries after four minutes, having been put clear wide on the right.
More or less straight from the kickoff, the home side secured a 5m lineout in the Luctonians 22, where a familiar catch and drive saw open side flanker Joseph Bercis touch down the first of a brace; fly-half Joseph Tarrant converting both tries.
The visitors came back strongly, however, with some poor midfield defence from the hosts allowing them across the gain line for their lively full-back to touchdown twice on 17 and 21 minutes – both tries unconverted.
Amps scored again through Dyer’s second try after 24 minutes, and Berciswent over again 15 minutes later from a catch and drive. Tarrant converted the former to leave the score 26-10 to the hosts at half-time.
The second half saw Ampthill add three more tries through Barrett, Hehea and Dyer, but the visitors – who fully deserved their tries – added their third on 56 minutes through their number 8.
With 71 minutes gone, a game which had appeared to have been played in a great spirit descended into farce when three players were sent off.
The referee had not seen the incident but acted on the advice of his assistant, leaving Ampthill – who were already down to 14 players – with just 12 on the pitch while Luctonians were reduced to 14.
The visitors secured two tries before full-time through their left wing and lock to earn a losing bonus point.
Ampthill tries: Dyer (4, 24, 67); Bercis (7, 39); Barrett (45); Hehea (50).
Ampthill conversions: Tarrant (5, 12, 25, 46, 51).