Kempston RFC’s penultimate league match of the year saw them fall to a narrow 17-14 defeat against Northampton Casuals.
It was the Casuals who started the brighter of the sides, but Kempston made the breakthrough when steal from Leon Harvey led to a break away from Luke Barry. Barry beat several defenders before offloading to Connor Bice who streaked away for the final 50m to touch down. The try was converted by Rob Campbell.
With 25 minutes gone, Kempston looked like scoring again as Barry raced forward – however, a combination of a slip and a covering tackle led to an awkward fall and the young full-back was later diagnosed with a double break of his arm.
When play resumed, Kempston caught the home side napping and Campbell found a way through the midfield to score and convert.
However, Casuals fought straight back and touched down on the stroke of half-time to reduce the arrears to 14-5.
The second half was definitely a scrappier affair. Casual took a stronger grip on the match as Ks lost a couple more players to injury, with Joe James, Tom Jackson and Gareth Arzu forced into some scrambling defence.
The pressure eventually told, though, as quick ball gave an opening to the Casuals winger who skipped around a couple of challenges and touched down.
Ks just could not get into their rhythm in the second period and Casuals took advantage again to take the lead for the first time in the match with just two minutes remaining.
From the resulting kick-off, Kempston pressed forward in search of a response, but a knock-on gave possession back to Casuals who saw the game out.
Kempston came away with a losing bonus point, with the league title still up for grabs.