Dunstablians’ two match winning run ended with a 32-15 defeat at Lutterworth on Saturday and they remain rooted to the bottom of Midlands Two East South.
It was a disappointing result for the Dees, who looked to have turned a corner since the New Year break but this was a below-par performance.
The opening stages saw end-to-end action, with both sides looking to inflict damage. Lutterworth struck first, taking an early 3-0 lead with a penalty awarded after a Dees player tried to enter the side of the ruck.
The normally reliable Lukas Chamberlain could have levelled proceedings with a penalty of his own but the ball rebounded off the post.
However, Aaron White managed to put Dees ahead with an exquisite try.
The move came to life after Rob Thorne’s deflected punt was collected by Luke Ashton, and he linked up with centre partner Scott Warren to put White over a try – whilst fending off the oncoming defenders. The conversion was dragged wide of the sticks.
The Bidwell Boys were unable to keep their noses ahead though, as the hosts bagged two successive tries before the interval.
Both scores were worked in similar style, as Lutterworth combined clever interplay and sharp movement to exploit the space in the Dees defence, resulting in two tries, with one conversion for a 15-5 lead.
Changes were made in the front-row, as experienced prop James Noel replaced Rob Courtnell, who suffered a head injury.
Lutterworth gained another three points with their second successful penalty.
Dees were struggling to create clear scoring opportunities, so Chamberlain chose to aim for the sticks when awarded a penalty – and arrowed his kick between the posts.
The home-side took their lead to 17 points, as they added another converted try.
Dees struggled to deal with the hosts’ relentless pressure, which was evident when the ball was spread to the winger, who had an easy put down in the corner.
Ashton, going through a purple-patch for Dees, went over for his side’s second try.
After a gruelling battle for possession in and amongst the rucks, Dees looked to create chances through Chamberlain, as he drew in the defenders and set up Ashton, who evaded the defenders, to grab a converted try.
Despite closing the deficit Lutterworth scored a third try, with Thorne named Dees’ man of the match.
The fight to escape the relegation zone continues on Saturday, as Dees will make the trip to league leaders Northampton Old Scouts.