BIRMINGHAM & Solihull Bees once again came out second best on the road as they were edged out 15-10 by Dings Crusaders in National League Two South.
With Bees lock Matt Spink forced to limp off with an ankle injury, Ben Bolster missed an opportunity to break the deadlock after 26 minutes.
However, the Dings fly half soon made amends three minutes later as he neatly chipped through and collected the ball to dot under the posts.
An easy conversation gave them a 7-0 advantage.
Matters took another turn for the worse for the men in yellow and black when skipper Jack Jolly yellow carded for obstruction on the half-hour mark.
That left his side in full defensive mode as Dings threw everything at their visitors to push home their numerical advantage.
The Bees’ defence was resolute and when Jolly returned to the field they held out to half-time.
The second period began very much as the first had, with both sides asking or giving no quarter.
Having initially turned down a kickable penalty in favour of a botched catch and drive from the ensuing lineout, Dings wisely opted for the points when a second bite of the cherry presented itself to extend their lead to ten points.
Bees responded immediately and were rewarded with a Jolly penalty to open their account.
In the 64th minute a breakdown in a Bees attack led to a try for their hosts.
Veteran full back Luke Arscott showed he still had the pace and the class he had when he plied his trade in the higher echelons of the game to streak down the right wing and score.
Bolster failed to add the extras, but at 15-3 it was looking a long way back for the Bees.
Despite losing both Kurtis Payne and Jevon Hinds to injury, the Bees refused to lie down.
A driving maul yielded a try for replacement centre Adam Nunney, adding his bulk to help his pack over the line with a couple of minutes still to play.
Any hopes of an unlikely reverse at the end were dashed as the Bees were unable to secure possession from the restart, allowing Dings to run down the clock and claim victory.
Bees host Taunton on Saturday.