Bedford Blues tasted defeat for the first time this season when they lost 45-25 against leaders Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday.
The Blues will be sorely disappointed with the second half showing, which saw the hosts run away with the game.
Hooker Tom Lindsay told the official website: “I felt we had it until half-time but then silly errors and a couple of penalties let us down. They built pressure and it was hard to stop them.
“That said, I think that this is a fantastic learning curve for us as a team. We’ve come off the back of two good wins and this is a reality check for us. We know that we’ve got so much more to give on the pitch and I can’t wait for the next match against Bristol.”
To say it was an electric start to the game at Vallis Way would be an understatement, with three tries coming in the opening nine minutes.
An Ealing scrum released the backs, as a pass reached Piers O’Conor’s hands and he surged towards the line before being stopped short.
However, the former Blue popped the ball to the supporting James Cordy-Redden who dotted down. Peter Lydon converted.
Bedford’s heads weren’t down for long though as they went straight up the other end to score.
A fine break from Mike Le Bourgeois, with Chris Czekaj carrying, set the wheels in motion before the forwards played some great pick-and-go moves to edge onwards.
Lee Dickson and Harry Sheppard linked well before Dean Adamson had the pace to score and Sheppard levelled things with the extras.
Three minutes later Bedford were ahead with the move starting from a fantastic Alex Rae grubber kick which allowed Elliot Clements-Hill to break on the right.
Bedford went through the phases and were knocking on the door when Dickson released Adamson for his second try.
Back came Ealing via O’Conor as he pirouetted his way over the Blues try line with Lydon converting.
Lydon and Sheppard exchanged penalties twice to make it 20-18 at half-time.
Bedford never got fully in their stride during the opening exchanges of the second half as Ealing took a stranglehold on the game.
The Blues were pinged at a scrum and then a lineout which led to Alun Walker finishing from close range in the 50th minute.
Five minutes later and another lineout led to Barney Maddison crashing over to make it 34-18.
Bedford’s indiscipline cost them at times and Ealing took full advantage to have the majority of possession and territory. Another lineout saw the ball recycled well to the right wing and Cordy-Redden went over for his second before Lydon added a 70th minute penalty for 42-18.
The Blues did come away with another score as they made a rare second-half visit to Ealing’s 22. The forwards proved pivotal as they crashed forward before Jordan Burns sniped over from close range.
Bedford’s hopes for a try bonus point were snuffed out as the hosts rarely allowed the Blues into their half. A penalty from Lydon was the final points of the game.
The Blues now host title favourites Bristol at Goldington Road on Saturday.