Shaw Cross Sharks slipped to a 30-12 defeat away at the National Conference League Division One leaders Lock Lane last Saturday.
Despite defeat there were plenty of positives for the Sharks, who were on top for much of the game and scored tries through Ricky Whiteman’s brace and Brandon French.
A blistering start for the home side did the damage, with three tries in the first 17 minutes giving them an 18-0 lead.
It took just three minutes for the first, as play was moved right and Nicky Saxton scored in the corner.
The Sharks had a decent spell after that, but a number of penalties put them on the back foot and Connor Land stepped round a defender to score between the posts.
From the kick-off Lock Lane forced a drop out for a repeat set and Danny Lidbury barged his way over to extend the lead.
With the league leaders in full flow it could have been a long afternoon but the Sharks clawed their way back into the game and controlled the rest of the first half.
Great play to the right was finished with French sending Whiteman over at the corner.
Whiteman scored his second five minutes later with French again assisting with a neat chip over the defence for the winger to dive over.
There were chances to put more points on the board with French losing the ball as he looked to go through and Ryan Chalkley unable to gather from another opportunity.
They were punished six minutes before the break when Lock Lane scored their fourth try against the run of play, as smart play by Craig Savage set up Nathan Fozzard to score between the posts and open a 16 point lead.
The Sharks had a good start to the second half, as Matthew Tebb and Danny Grainger combined well down the left to take them close before French couldn’t quite make it in at the corner.
They conceded a number of penalties and were placed on a team warning, but the defence held out and the Sharks began to dominate again.
Tebb was held just short of the line and French went close again before quick hands by Tebb and Paul March put French over on the right for a deserved try.
The Sharks continued to be the better side but couldn’t find another scoring opportunity, while at the other end, Nathan Wright did brilliantly to catch a breaking Lock Lane player.
The home side sealed the win with eight minutes to go with their fifth try as Lewis Price broke through a tiring defence to round things off.
The Sharks remain second-bottom and travel to Pilkington Recs on Saturday.