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Lichfield RUFC failed two recover from two early tries as they went down against Dudley Kingswinford.
The visitors were up 14 points within 20 minutes at Cooke Fields before Callum Turner broke away and scored to bring the Myrtle Greens back into the reckoning.
But shortly after the 30 minute mark Dudley went over for a third to make it 21-7.
Lichfield replied 10 minutes later to bring the score back within seven, but again Dudley replied quickly to take the deficit out to 14 points.
After the restart, the hosts won a penalty which was missed by Charlie Milner – three points that would end up being crucial.
Lichfield again got back into contention when Rich Burton broke free and powered over the line, Charlie Milner adding the extras.
Again, Dudley stretched the scoreline out again with a penalty making 32-21.
The back and forth scoring continued with Matt Smith going over for a converted try, but Lichfield failed to find another crucial score as they went down 31-28.
Lichfield head coach Dan Hemingway said the encounter showed the quality of rugby on offer at this level.
“It was a fantastic contest at Cooke Fields,” he said. “We knew it would be a good game and it didn’t disappoint.
“We felt we adapted much better in the second second half – our work rate didn’t allow us to play in the first half and Dudley Kingswinford put us under a lot of pressure through their energy.
“We gave ourselves a shot to win it at the end, but on balance they probably deserved to edge a close game.”
Lichfield’s next game sees them travel to Hereford on 26th October.