Shaw Cross Sharks slipped to a third straight defeat in National Conference Division One, going down 19-12 at home to Milford Marlins.
It was a match that many thought Shaw Cross could win after two good performances in their previous games as well as new players in the squad.
The Sharks had a man advantage for most of the second half after a Milford player was sent off for head butting but they were unable to make it count.
Early Milford pressure resulted in Tom Wilson scoring between the posts. Ryan Oxtoby converted
Marlins struck again when a reverse pass opened the Sharks defence for James Barker to score and Oxtoby again goaled.
Shaw Cross began to get a foothold in the game as the half wore on and they pulled a try back after 30 minutes.
A brilliant cross field kick from new signing, Sharks man-of-the-match Will Gledhill, found Brandan French, who collected brilliantly.
Joe Halloran was in support to collect the offload and score in the corner.
With Danny Flowers being taken off after a knock to the head, Ryan Chalkley was on kicking duties and landed the touchline goal.
Sharks were handed a sucker punch on the stroke of half-time as Milford broke following a missed Shaw Cross opportunity for Dave Warren to score and Oxtoby converted.
The sides met in two heated affairs last season and the second half of this game proved no different.
Marlins full-back Oxtoby received a red card five minutes after the re-start after the referee consulted his touch judge.
Shaw Cross made them pay immediately as French and Halloran combined again.
French received the ball close to the touchline and timed his pass perfectly to find Halloran who scored his second try of the game.
Chalkley added another terrific touchline goal to pull the Sharks to within six points.
The home crowd were becoming increasingly frustrated as Sharks were on the end of a few contentious decisions in the latter part of the second half.
Coach Brett Turner was bemused by many of the calls but did not want to blame the officials for his side’s defeat.
A drop goal from Milford with a minute remaining sealed victory for the opposition leaving the home side bitterly disappointed as the Marlins moved into fourth place.
Sharks will now look to this Saturday’s match to try and secure their first win of the season when they travel to Leeds to face fifth placed Hunslet Warriors.
It will prove to be another tough game for Turner’s men against a Warriors side who have won two and drawn one of their three matches so far but the Sharks will be determined to pick up their first points of the season.