A late try from Pete Everton saw Lincoln 1st XV’s first league game of the season end in a narrow 10-0 defeat at Market Rasen & Louth.
Rasen scrum-half Edward Nicholls slotted over an early penalty to give the hosts, who lost captain Ben Chamberlain to the sin bin, a 3-0 lead going in at half-time.
New Lincoln captain Leigh Dearden, who was facing his former club for the first time since his departure, was sent to the sin bin with a yellow card eight minutes from time.
Rasen capitalised as Everton ran in for a try, which Nicholls converted, as the hosts held on for victory.
Lincoln captain Dearden said: “Everyone is equally disappointed because we didn’t play to our usual standard and didn’t play as well as we’d trained, but fair play to Rasen their defence was tight.
“To come away with such a tight margin is no bad thing. I remain very proud to be captaining this side and it’s onwards and upwards from here and only progression and improvement.”
Lincoln’s second team, now known as Imps XV, also travelled to face their Market Rasen & Louth counterparts and two tries from James Bemrose saw them on the wrong end of a 32-7 defeat.
Grant Laws scored Lincoln’s only try when he received a little pop pass from Jake Keeton before going over between the sticks. Keeton added the extras.
James Bemrose and Ernie Thompson grabbed two tries apiece for Rasen, with the hosts’ other scores coming from Simon Cooper and Dave Starling. Mike Starling added one conversion.
Ian Dennant and Rory McConnell crossed for two tries apiece as Lincoln’s 3rd XV started their season in style with a 48-5 victory over Cleethorpes 2nd XV.
The first score of the match came via a penalty try, with Craig Richardson, Harry Atkinson and Luke Brodrick also getting their names on the scoresheet, with the latter adding four conversions.
This weekend Lincoln’s 1st XV host Matlock, while the third team welcome Leesbrook to Longdales Park on Saturday. The Imps XV travel to face Matlock on Saturday and Lincoln Ladies host Scunthorpe on Sunday.
Lincoln Ladies began their league season with a 15-0 defeat at Coalville, but coach Brian Kelly was keen to pick out the positives.
He said: “If we can cut out the simple errors and remain focused throughout the game we will do very well this season. Once again the girls’ commitment and passion is without question.”
OTHER RESULTS Elsewhere in the county, Scunthorpe won 36-3 at Burton in the Midlands Premier. In Midlands Three East (North) Spalding secured an emphatic 69-14 win over Bakewell, while Sleaford suffered a 17-10 home defeat against Belper. Kesteven lost 31-5 at Nottingham Moderns.
In Midlands Three East (South) Stamford beat Birstall 34-10, while Bourne claimed a 26-13 win at St Neots. In Midlands Four East (North) Cleethorpes beat Ollerton 32-22, while North Hykeham won 55-7 at county rivals Gainsborough. Grimsby beat Mellish 39-24, while Boston won 38-18 at Amber Valley. Skegness lost 17-7 at Chesterfield Panthers.