Bramley Buffaloes slipped to their third defeat of the season in the LHF Healthplan National League 3 after losing 26-20 at South London Storm.
It was an exciting game that the Buffaloes should have won but the London side held their nerve to seal victory with just ten minutes remaining.
Despite missing a host of influential playmakers the Buffaloes drew first blood on 8 minutes when Neal Foulds finally notched his first try of the season with an opportunist break.
The hosts hit back with three tries before half-time to lead 14-4 and then moved into a seemingly unassailable 20-4 lead with a long range try two minutes into the second period.
The Buffaloes dug deep and on 45 minutes a bulldozing drive from Andrew Cannon resulted in a penalty try for ball stealing over the line. Shaun Flynn converted to make it 20-10.
Veteran international Ikram Butt entered the fray and made an immediate impact as some intelligent running gave Amraz Hamid the space to waltz over on 57 minutes. Once again Flynn converted and then grabbed a try of his own three minutes later to leave it all square.
Storm hit back on 70 minutes with another long range break and conversion to steal the points.
Coach Phil Hellewell pulled no punches: “I was pleased that we came back well. That required some character but I was far less pleased by some woeful first half defending that gave us a second half mountain to climb.
“It’s a long trip to make and we missed four very key players in Tim Orr, Richard Greenwood, Darren Collins and Scott Pendlebury but that is no excuse whatsoever. Those that filled their boots did well but this was a game we could and should have won.
“South London Storm is a very good set-up and they played an organised game which we matched for 70 minutes but we’ll be working on our errors in training with a view to getting back to winning ways at Manchester Knights next Saturday,” added Phil whose side sit in 8th place in the table with 7 points from 7 games.