A third losing bonus point on the trot was scant consolation after a 17-14 Douglas RUFC lead dissolved into a canny 17-21 win for Liverpool St Helens on Saturday.
Putting the loss of a sporting game into perspective, one minute’s applause in memory of Lucas Martin rang out from the Port-e-Chee grounds and clubhouse prior to kick-off.
Three-all after 10 minutes with penalties apiece from Matty Wood and Luke Hyland and a handy breeze in favour of the home side, the visitors broke clear from deep in defence for John Kennedy to run a 60-metre try in under the posts.
A large crowd were buoyed by Rob Todd and Luca Simmons tries, both converted by Hyland as new Douglas caps Guy Barrons, James Good and Simmons showed their worth.
Although Liverpool St Helens struck back with a John Webster try, again converted by Wood, the Douglas pack had the upper hand apart from occasional line-out blips and Percy Hampton’s yellow card.
Missing 11 players via unavailability of varying creation hadn’t looked insurmountable for Douglas but as the second period ticked by, despite replacements Owen Carvin and Phil Cringle beefing up the front row, territory was hard to come by.
LSH hooked up the freshening elements more effectively than Douglas and winger James Dickinson’s burst provided a four-point lead once Wood added the extras.
Douglas couldn’t free up the pace of Barron and looked out of sorts in attack, and the late introduction of Bryn Snellgrove reaped little reward. The Black Grace Cowley man of the match champagne went to Simmons, but Douglas must wait another day to break their league duck this season.
Douglas RUFC squad: Chris Bollen, Conor Garland, Rob Todd, James Good, Sean Garland, Percy Hampton, Blake Snell, John Dutnall, Luke Hyland, Luca Simmons, Aidan O’Shea, Sam McCord, Guy Barrons, Callum Dentith, Josh Duncan, Phil Cringle, Bryn Snellgrove.