Not much in it as Lutts win but Harborough lose
Lutterworth just got the better of Huntingdon & District in a hugely entertaining Midlands One East encounter.
Lutts finally took the victory 37-35 but it was a game that ebbed and flowed.
Having gone ahead through a Dan Glasse penalty they then scored two quick tries through Connor Warburton and George Turner.
Huntingdon – already on the board through a penalty – then scored a converted try of their own only for Lutterworth to reassert their authority with a score from loose-head prop Tom Kilburn.
But it 22-15 at half-time as, once again, Huntingdon fought back.
The gap narrowed further after a penalty only for it to be extended again Ollie Jempson the next man to touch down.
With Glasse converting it was now 29-18 – safe and secure? Not so.
Huntingdon came back again with a try and two penalties to bring the advantage down to one point.
Lutts were not helped by the loss of influential fullback Tom Hopper through injury but soon after Glasse kicked another three points before Jo Benjamin sprinted 50 yards and then set Warburton away for his second try.
Even at 37-28 Huntingdon refused to lie down, though.
Another converted try brought it to 37-35 and a tense last eight minutes seemed like an eternity but Lutts held out to finally secure the spoils.
Head coach Dave Johnson said: “It was a proper 80-minute game of rugby by two quality teams with neither giving an inch.”
Backs coach Geraint Davies added: “Winning games like that shows what progress the team and club has made.”
Market Harborough travelled to Oakham with high hopes of continuing their recent form but ultimately had to be content with a losing bonus point.
It was another frustrating loss as the hosts sneaked home 22-21.
Oakham weathered some early pressure before becoming the first side to score.
Still Harborough pushed, though, and despite losing Josh Haynes to injury they took the lead when Michael Woodford scored and Fraser Harrop kicked an excellent conversion.
It was to get even better when Ethan Godefroy and George Lee combined to send Harrop away to touch down in the corner.
And when Ed Sumpter intercepted a pass just outside his own 22 and raced clear to touch down under the posts – with Harrop again converting – Harborough led 21-5.
But Oakham played to their strengths with a pick-and-go game and edged their way back.
They pulled one score back and it could have been more but for a couple of try-saving tackles from Ed Parker.
Playing into the wind in the second half Harborough seemed to lose a bit of their edge and it was Oakham doing all the attacking.
Their defence looked secure but with Woodford lost to a yellow card their job became harder.
Oakham crossed for their third try shortly before Woodford’s return and, using the elements well, kept play in the Harborough half.
Eventually they managed to get the ball wide and went over for another try.
This time the Oakham kicker made no mistake as his kick bisected the uprights to put them in front 22-21 with seven minutes remaining.
This woke Harborough up and they pressed hard up field.
But, although they did make inroads into the opposition 22, they were unable to break through and they once again found themselves on the receiving end of a narrow defeat.