Andy Oliver was the last-gasp hero for Long Buckby as they edged to a dramatic 26-25 win at Oundle on Saturday.
Oundle were winners at Station Road earlier in the season, and there wasn’t much between these rivals here.
Oundle were the first to trouble the scorers with a try.
Buckby hit back, and after Oliver had won a penalty, Jonny Palmer kicked thepoints to make it 5-3.
Buckby then felt hard done by as Oundle attacked the narrow space down the left and their own touch judge put his flag up only to then withdraw it and, as the Buckby defenders hesitated, Oundle got their second try. It was converted to make the score 12-3, before the home side also added a penalty to increase the lead futher.
Buckby responded well, and from a lineout Chris Page tapped the ball down to second row Andrew Tarplee, who fed Andrew Frankland. He drove for the line then popped the ball to Ben Walton who in turn fed it back to Chris Page to score.
The conversion reduced the deficit to five points and, minutes later, Palmer added a penalty to make the half-time score 15-13 to Oundle.
Oundle started the second half well, but it was Buckby who scored first with a Palmer penalty, and that meant they led for the first time at 16-15.
Oundle hit back immediately with a penalty of their own to edge 18-16 ahead.
The next 10 minutes were nip and tuck, but after 65 minutes Buckby scored their second try. Oundle won a scrum 30 metres out, but Haynes hooked the ball against the head allowing Richard Ryan to make a blindside break. Jonny Nixon made the decoy run and as Ryan went to ground, Palmer picked up and fed Luke Foster, who scored.
Oundle again hit back, and a converted try saw them go 25-21 ahead in the final 10 minutes.
But Buckby weren’t finished, and Fergus Murray popped the ball to Oliver who, despite being 20 metres out, beat the winger and the full-back to snatch a dramatic win.
Daventry 33 Queens 12
Daventry bounced back from defeat in their last league game to secure a bonus-point victory over Queens.
The Bedford outfit dominated territory in the first half but the Blacks led at half-time thanks to tries from Connor Robson and Bradley Wardell, with Wardell converting both.
Daventry began to dominate in the second half, scoring further tries through Luke Jones, James Heath and Sam Dudgeon, two of them converted by Wardell.
Heathens 7 OGs 53
There was no disputing the superiority of the visitors to the Racecourse when Heathens took on deserved Youngs Bitter merit table leaders Wellingborough Old Grammarians under the watchful eye of east midlands president Clive Leeke .
With an abundance of pace and skill throughout their team, OGs ran in a total of nine tries.
The total could have been even greater but for some fine cover tackling from centre Josh Budd, who marked his first appearance of the season with a determined man-of-the-match performance.
The Heathens pack were also responsible for limiting the score by denying OGs any comfortable first phase possession from scrum or lineout.
Ironically, Heathens’ only score came in the 80th minute when scrums had gone uncontested and skipper and No.8 Dan Stonehouse picked up from the base to crash over for a try, to which full-back Ash Brown added the extras.
This weekend, Heathens have a respite from merit table action when they entertain Brackley IIs XV in a friendly at at the Racecourse (2.15pm).
Old Scouts 51 Dunstablians 12
Scouts were refreshed after their first week off in three months and were on form to deal with a Dunstablians side fighting to avoid relegation.
The visitors began on the attack and Scouts were forced to defend their line. In doing so, they gave away a couple of penalties which were missed.
A James Nimmo break after 10 minutes resulted in a penalty for Scouts, with Adam Frost duly converting to settle the nerves.
This was soon followed by a storming run through the middle of the park by Jordan Dolman and when second phase ball was produced he was on hand again to drive down the right and set up a try for fellow back rower Jordan Judd.
Scouts could have scored a second try after a midfield break by teenage centre Liam Hancock, but Ds turned the ball over and cleared.
Dunstablians hit back midway through the half with a soft converted try when the home defence seemed to freeze close to the try line.
The rest of the half was all Scouts as they ran in two further tries. First, winger Alex McKie latched on to the end of a flowing move to race over for Frost to convert.
Frost then scored the second but failed with his conversion attempt.
The hosts made sure of a try bonus point early in the second half when, following sustained pressure, scrum-half Tom Powell sold a couple of dummies before going over under the sticks. Frost added the extras.
It was now time to step up the pressure and run the ball at every opportunity. Play switched from side to side with deft cross-kicks and Scouts thought they had scored but the referee thought otherwise.
At the next opportunity, Scouts set up a lineout and from the catch and drive prop Emilio Giron-Walsh emerged to dot down out wide.
Jordan Dolman received the restart and drove straight through attempted tackles to set up Giron-Walsh, who scored his second try in a minute with his own version of the ‘Ash splash’.
Frost converted to put the home side in a comfortable 39-12 lead at the end of the third quarter.
It was looking like a big score was on the cards as Ds injuries were struggling to keep 15 players on the pitch and the game became disjointed with several stoppages.
Scouts did take their foot of the peddle, which allowed the Ds winger to race in for a consolation try.
The home side did get back to the plan and a break from winger Glyn Roff saw him stopped inches from the line, although he managed to release the ball to Powell for his second of the afternoon.
This was soon followed by an attack down the middle and a break from replacement Dan Warren, who just had enough breath on his return from injury to cross the whitewash. James Nimmo had taken over kicking duties and he notched this one to take Scouts past the 50 mark.
Scouts had one further chance to score and a four-man overlap was ignored with the try line begging and the offender was duly admonished by his team-mates.
Old Northamptonians 10 Syston 18
James Morgan produced a kicking masterclass to end Old Northamptonians’ 11-match unbeaten run.
There were just three points in it at the break but as the second half progressed Syston exerted more and more control with fly-half Morgan, playing in only his 20th game for the home side, constantly pinning the ONs back with his accurate boot.
In contrast, the ONs’ kicking out of hand was again poor, giving Syston the time and space to return these kicks with interest.
ONs’ tries came from Ashley Fullthorpe and Lewis Barker.