Coleraine lost out by one point to Randalstown on Saturday and yet again had to be satisfied with taking a losing bonus point.
The game was played in persistent blustery conditions and Coleraine failed to make the most of the advantage playing with the wind in the first half.
Illness had depleted the side prior to the match, several people were just getting over the flu and injury was yet again played a major role in the game.
Speaking after the game coach John Boyd said: “We were bitterly disappointed to lose a game we had expected to win, especially given the effort from all our players which could not be faulted. It just proved that you have to take your chances when they are presented.
“We dominated the first 37 minutes and had Randalstown pinned in their own 22 but sadly we only scored 10 points for all our endeavours and we even had a good try disallowed by the referee. Having said that, in the first 20 minutes we created four clear try-scoring opportunities from which I would have expected us to score.
“We switched off with a few minutes of the first half to go and aided by a huge knock on, Randalstown scored in the corner with the last play of the half. Sadly, and more importantly given the impact he was having in the centre, we lost Adam Parke to a knee injury which could rule him out for the rest of the season.
“In the second half we defended resolutely but conceded two penalties which they kicked. We fought to the end but we weren’t able to score despite being awarded a late penalty to win the game. It went narrowly wide.
“Thankfully we have no game next week and that will give us a chance to regroup and will give some of the guys who have been playing with injuries a chance to recover. We will be working hard in training over the next few weeks and we need everyone to turn up for every training session.
“We need to learn from this and continue to improve. There is still a lot of rugby to play this season so we must stay positive.”
In the game Coleraine attacked from the off and within two minutes Bokkie Carstens claimed three points from a penalty. With 17 minutes gone Carstens attacked from the rear of the scrum and outpaced the defence to score in the corner. He also converted to give the home side a 10-0 lead.
In the final minute of the half Randalstown made a major break from the centre of the park, leading to an unconverted try and a half-time scoreline of 10-5.
In the second half, playing with the strong wind at their backs, the visitors pressured the Coleraine defence. Although Randalstown could not breach the defence, they punished Coleraine indiscretion to claim six points from two penalties, 10 minutes and 30 minutes into the half, giving a narrow one point advantage.
Coleraine players held their breath as Carstens tried for the posts from a penalty 25metres out, in the last minute of the game, but the strong wind caused the ball to drift agonisingly just wide and Randalstown took the win.
Coleraine had to make do with another losing bonus point, the fifth bonus point of the season, and they remain in second position in the league, just two points behind Omagh.
This weekend there are no matches for the senior teams.