An error-strewn performance saw Market Harborough slip to a 33-24 league defeat on Saturday at local rivals Oadby Wyggestonian.
Missed tackles and a failure to carry out basic drills sealed Harborough’s fate, meaning the side is drifting precariously close to the relegation positions in Midlands Two East (South).
However, it was Harborough who scored first after four minutes.
From a lineout inside their own half the ball was fed to centre Caolann Fitzpatrick who scythed through opposition tackles and from subsequent phases, Stefan Ziemelis was on hand to touch down. An excellent conversion by Harry Durham made the score 7-0.
Unfortunately from the kick-off Harborough failed to secure the ball and then conceded a penalty that Wyggs slotted to reduce the deficit to 7-3.
This became 10-7 on 15 minutes as the home side spotted a gap in the centre and stormed through for a converted try.
With Harborough failing to defend well in the middle of the park, Wyggs scored again to lead 15-7.
But another excellent Fitzpatrick break saw Josh Haynes score and Durham’s conversion reduced the gap to a single point.
Sadly, Harborough’s continued failure to win the kick-off led to another penalty before Wyggs again found it all too easy to run through Harborough tackles to make it 25-14 on the stroke of half-time.
The second half began as the first finished. From a lineout Wyggs drove over for an unconverted try to increase their lead to 30-14.
Durham cut the deficit with a penalty before Fitzpatrick, Harborough’s man of the match, scored an excellent try to cap a fine performance.
With Durham’s conversion the hosts were back in sight at just 30-24 up.
But Harborough lost the kick-off yet again and Wyggs slotted a penalty.
In the final minutes Harborough upped their game but could find no way through .
And with Durham’s long-range penalty attempt just missing the upright late on they even failed to secure a losing bonus point.
In addition to Fitzpatrick there were fine individual performances from Ethan Godefroy, Michael Woodford and Timmy Waterfield who is proving a revelation at scrum-half.
Wyggs, however, demonstrated what can be achieved by a team that is well drilled and well organised; –qualities to which Harborough must aspire.
The second team clash between the clubs went the same way as Wyggs administered a 50-19 league defeat.
The performance was more dynamic than the previous week and the outstanding Andrew Jarvis provided a ray of hope with a hat-trick of tries.
However a lack of ball up front, some suspect tackling and the opposition’s superior organisation was Harborough’s undoing.