Jim Calveley crossed for two tries as Lincoln’s 1st XV pushed league leaders West Bridgford all the way in a narrow 31-29 bonus point defeat.
Will Oliver and Jack Kinsey, who was voted as man of the match by the opposition, also grabbed tries, with Richie Dixon adding three conversions and a penalty.
West Bridgford went over for an early try, but Lincoln hit back when Conor Morgan set up Kinsey to score in the corner.
Dixon added a penalty before converting Calveley’s first try — quick passing from a lineout set up the forward to score between the posts.
A converted try and a penalty saw West Bridgford take a narrow 17-15 half-time lead.
Grant Cowe offloaded for Oliver to power over for a try, which Dixon converted, to put Lincoln ahead.
West Bridgford hit back with two converted tries, but Lincoln refused to give up and reduced the deficit through Calveley, who dummied and went through a gap and handed off a player to score. Dixon added the extras.
Lincoln nearly completed a remarkable turnaround, but West Bridgford held on for victory.
After the match Calveley said: “Notwithstanding the defeat, it was one of the best performances of the season with 100% effort from one to 18. Everybody stood up to be counted and can be proud of their performance.”
Zeph Chapman marked his debut with two tries as Lincoln’s 2nd XV lost 29-19 against West Bridgford.
Lincoln’s other points came from Kodi Strand’s try and two Brad Nixon conversions.
Henry Matthews, Harry Atkinson and Tony Clayton scored Lincoln 3rd XV’s tries in a 61-15 defeat against West Bridgford.
Lincoln’s 1st XV host Scunthorpe in the Lincolnshire Cup Semi-Final on Wednesday before returning to league action at Loughborough on Saturday. The second team face Sleaford away on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Lincoln winger Jake Keeton featured for the Nottinghamshire, Linolnshire & Derbyshire (NLD) Under-20s in their 36-33 victory over Devon in the Under-20s Championship. NLD’s youngsters face Lancashire in the final on May 6.
Elsewhere in the county Scunthorpe beat Longton 47-17 in the Midlands Premier. In Midlands One East Market Rasen lost 34-20 against Northampton Old Scouts. In Midlands Two East (South) Stamford lost 42-17 against Oadby Wyggestonians.
In Midlands Three East (North) Sleaford beat Belper 45-14, but Spalding lost 43-13 at Ashby. Grimsby lost 22-10 against Nottingham Moderns, while Kesteven were defeated 23-22 by Mansfield.
Gainsborough lost 41-29 in a friendly at Dinnington.