Gosport & Fareham put up a brave show despite crashing 66-5 against London one south leaders East Grinstead at Gosport Park.
It was always going to be a struggle against the big-spending, unbeaten visitors but the home side battled throughout.
‘East Grinstead are one of the best sides seen at our ground for many a year,’ said club spokesman Brian Seeney.
‘We have nothing to be ashamed of against the bigger, better, fitter and faster professionals.
‘Gosport & Fareham can come away from this game with their heads held high.
‘We battled and scrapped every inch of the way.’
The home side were losing only by 12-5 midway through the first half, thanks to a fine try by stand-in outside-half Wayne Dugan.
In the end, the visitors overpowered their hosts but it wasn’t until the fourth minute of stoppage-time when they added their 10th try.
United Services had forward Trev McAlister sent off in their 17-12 Hampshire one defeat by New Milton & District at Burnaby Road.
McAlister was yellow carded along with an opponent following an early fracas.
Then on his return to the field, just before the interval, he received a second caution for what was deemed to be illegal use of the boot at a ruck.
That left the Services, who trailed 10-6 at the break, with a mountain to climb.
And they could not manage to close the gap against their unbeaten visitors in the second half.
Services coach Simon Burns felt the dismissal of McAlister was the key moment in the contest.
‘We totally dominated them in the scrums but unfortunately kicked the ball away at times,’ said Burns.
‘I am convinced with 15 players we would have won this game.’
Petersfield slumped to the bottom of the league following their 20-13 defeat at the hands of closest rivals Aldershot & Fleet, who leapfrogged them up the table.
In Hampshire two, Fareham Heathens’ problems increased with a 38-10 defeat by Chineham at Cams Alders.