Mansfield Rugby Club fell to a 24-12 defeat to Melbourne in their final home game of the season.
The first ten minutes suggested Mansfield weren’t going down without a fight.
The away team conceded six penalties and lost a player to the sin bin before the game had the chance to really warm up.
However, Melbourne were the first team to register points.
Finally getting a penalty after some time under pressure, the away side were able to put some phases together and score the first of their four bonus point-winning tries.
Despite Tom Key’s imperiousness and solid performances by Ash Stirland and Gareth Gripton, Mansfield weren’t clinical enough.
Matters weren’t helped when Josh Hall was sin binned and not wanting to waste the advantage, Melbourne turned the tables on the hosts and soon crashed over to register their second try to make it 12-0.
That tally could have been added to soon after, a wayward pass landing in the grateful hands of a Melbourne defender who set off on a 60 metre run for the line.
An almost-certain try was stopped by winger Joe Ducker racing from one wing to the other to help haul the runaway attacker down.
Stirland beat three players just after to run in the hosts’ first try and bring the scores back to 12-7 at the break.
Unfortunately for the home team, they spent much of the second half on the back-foot.
Too often the crispness of their final pass was missing and the blue-and-whites just couldn’t find that finishing touch.
A second try came from Tom Key after a penalty but it wasn’t enough at the end.
Melbourne scored two of their own second half tries with one converted.
Head coach Wayne Robinson said: “We did some good things, but needed more consistency.
“This was a game we could have won but we missed a few opportunities.”
Mansfield end their season away at Nottingham Casuals this weekend.