Heathens ran Youngs Bitter merit table leaders Corby close, eventually losing 10-7 in a tight encounter on the Racecourse.
Heathens weathered an opening storm on a wet and windy Racecourse as they kept Corby at bay for the majority of the first half.
A man-of-the-match performance from Tony Hazell at scrum half, deputising for regular No.9 Marty Campbell, kept Heathens in the game.
There was also a strong, gutsy performance from Jake Doyle, playing out of position at full-back and later standing in for Hazell at scrum-half.
Following the strong Corby start, Heathens clawed their way back in to the game with a good showing in the scrums and just edging the lineouts.
Eventually Corby exploited a gap on the left wing after 30 minutes and went in for an unconverted try to leave them with a five-point advantage at the break.
Heathens’ cause was not helped when hooker Vio Marien was sent off for a punch on 35 minutes.
The second half saw The Romany-based Heathens playing with the wind and slope, and fortunes were even despite the home side being down to 14 men.
However, on 58 minutes Corby broke away to claim their second unconverted try of the afternoon.
Heathens were not to be outdone and stand-in skipper Ben Jackson led superbly from the front, ensuring a frantic final 10 minutes of the match.
Dan Stonehouse burst over from a tap penalty for a Heathens try that was swiftly converted by Simon Smith.
With a few minutes remaining, Heathens believed that they had completed what would have been a deserved comeback when Stonehouse again crossed, only for the try to be ruled out for an alleged knock on.
The match ended with Heathens pressing for the vital score, which was not to come in a well refereed match that was thoroughly enjoyed by both teams. Next Saturday, Heathens take a respite from the merit table with an friendly against Market Harborough IIIs.
Newbury 13 Towcestrians 5
TOWCESTRIANS were knocked off the top of the table after losing at a Newbury team who remain unbeaten at home this season.
Tows started poorly and conceded a try in the very first minute.
The away side tried hard to get back into the game, having the territory and possession but making errors, pressing too hard in defence and with final passes going adrift.
Eventually, Tows did put phases together and from a clean lineout take, they spread the ball along the backline for winger Alex Chalcraft to continue his impressive try-scoring season.
But Newbury retook the lead after a quick tap helped put Ryan Trevaskis in for a try.
And Tows could not recover the deficit during the second period, with Newbury landing a penalty to seal the points.
A hugely impressive Tows IIs beat local rivals Old Northamptonians IIs 39-5 to give a decent-sized home crowd something to cheer about. Tows Colts slipped to a 12 -10 defeat at Southam.
Old Northamptonians 0 Hinckley 36
OLD NORTHAMPTONIANS suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Hinckley on a windy afternoon at Billing Road.
ONs were under pressure from the off and Ted Bunn eventually paid the price in the form of a sin-binning.
The home side held out for the 10 minutes they were down to 14 men, but Hinckley eventually took the lead after 20 minutes.
The away side were to rack up three tries before the break, earning a 17-0 lead.
And it was to get worse for ONs after the interval as they conceded another three scores in what was to be a big defeat.
Old Northamptonians IIs suffered a similarly heavy loss, going down 39-5 against Towcestrians IIs.
Anthony Costelloe was the ONs try scorer.
The ONs Vets beat Market Harborough Vets 17-5 under the NSB lights on Friday evening.
Paul Tarbuck,Mike Coggin and Jamie Woolley scored tries with Ally Wood adding a conversion.
Dunlop 10 Olney 19
A much-changed Olney travelled to Coventry to take on Dunlop RFC in an Intermediate Cup fixture.
And they were to return home victorious.
Olney took the lead through a Tom O’Connor try and they were soon 13-0 up after the successful conversion and two penalties.
Conditions deteriorated in the second half, but Olney continued to press, with another two penalties putting them 19-0 up. The away side were eventually put under pressure and paid the price, losing a man to the bin.
Dunlop grabbed a couple of tries, but Olney had done enough to earn the win.