NORTH East Worcestershire Ravens experienced a game of two halves as they lost 46-24 at home to Derby City in the Midlands Premier on Saturday.
A storming first-half display had put the Kings Norton RFC-based side 18-8 ahead at half-time and within reaching distance of their first win of the season.
However, Derby punished some errors to battle back into the game.
For the first time this season, Ravens were the first to take the lead, with only four minutes on the clock, as Simon Elsey rounded off a fine passing move to go over wide out for a try with the conversion by Dave Wimbury.
The Ravens were to come close again just minutes later when Ryan Wilson went over for a score after a tremendous break by Alex Brindley, only for the referee to disallow it for a forward pass.
Against the run of play, Derby managed to break the stout Ravens defence to pull a try back.
Ravens responded with gusto, but a promising attack broke down.
The hosts were now on top and looking dangerous and soon increased their lead.
Tom Fletcher sped away to score a try in the corner, but the conversion was from too far out, as a chance to hand Ravens a six-point lead went to waste.
The home side was to strike again just minutes later, as Liam Dunne barged over for a try.
With a bit more composure, the Ravens could have been in for two more tries, but Derby were next to be on the scoreboard, after getting two penalties to piggy-back them up the park with just minutes left of the half.
But there was still time as, right on the half-time mark, Dunne went over for his second try of the game.
Ravens were producing their best performance of the season and could have been 30-8 ahead had they taken the right options Instead, they went in at the break with an18-8 lead and their confidence was high as they took in the half-time break.
Unbelievably it all went to pot in the second half, as errors crept into the home team’s game. Derby scored two quick tries to level the scores and the Ravens’ heads went down.
The visitors were to capitalise on every error they made and were to score another five tries.
Dunne scored for the Ravens in the last few minutes as he took three men on his back over the line to secure his hat-trick of tries.
Dave Wimbury then added the conversion.
Ravens are at home to Leamington Royals on Saturday (2.30pm ko).