The Buffaloes slumped to their second consecutive defeat after going down 14-20 to a livewire Hemel Stags team in this LHF Healthplan National League Three clash.
An entertaining match, played out in front of a vocal crowd of 574, was eventually decided midway through the second half with the Stags notching two breakaway tries.
A much changed Buffaloes, depleted by injury, started confidently and good work by Steve Gill down the right wing set up a cross field move that was rounded off by Danny O’Connor barging his way over. Gill converted to put the hosts 6-0 up.
The remainder of the first half was nip and tuck with both sides going close. The sin binning of Luke Sellers for a high tackle on 37 minutes proved crucial with the Stags taking full advantage. Seconds before the break Kaz Harris went over in the corner to leave it 6-4 at the turnaround.
The second half burst into life on 48 minutes when Gill struck over a penalty awarded for interference. The Buffaloes increased their lead to 14-4 on 56 minutes when Luke Sellers burrowed over from close range to reward a period of incessant pressure on the Stags line.
The home side failed to close out the game and paid the price on 63 minutes when Ben Wykeham ran the length of the field to score. Moments later it was Andy Champ who ran a full 80 yards to touch down for the Stags picking up a misplaced pass from Bramley to make it 16-14.
In the closing stages the Buffaloes kept pressing but failed to keep possession with the line at their mercy. Stags sub James Ellershaw sealed the points with a rampaging run to the corner on 75 minutes.
Bramley coach Phil Hellewell was not a happy man: “Once again we had the chances and created the platforms but threw it away in the final 10 yards. Time and again we looked on for the score but lacked that cutting edge that we’ve shown at times this season.
“I wasn’t pleased with our covering defence for their two breakaway tries but they were well taken and I have to give the Stags a lot of credit. They deserved the game because we made far too many mistakes.
“The dressing room was a disconsolate place after that game but we now have the chance to hopefully get back to winning ways next Saturday at Essex Eels and the following Saturday at home to Gateshead. I’ll be looking for a massive improvement on this showing!” added Phil.