Portsmouth were overpowered up front in their 39-5 London two south west defeat at Winchester.
However, director of rugby Nigel Morgan praised the fighting spirit of the Rugby Camp team who kept going to the end.
‘Winchester were far too powerful for us in the forwards,’ he said.
‘It meant we didn’t have a platform to work from.
‘We also missed four kicks at goal which would have made a big difference.
‘The fact we never gave up showed with our last-minute try from hooker Greg Hoolihan.
‘Though it was our third successive defeat, they have all been against the top three sides.
‘We knew there were games it was going to be difficult to get anything from.’
Elsewhere, a dominant second-half performance took United Services to the top of Hampshire one with a 41-28 win over Millbrook at Burnaby Road.
Services trailed 16-13 at the halfway stage but, helped by a man-of-the-match display by 44-year-old hooker Matt Davis, turned the game around.
Director of rugby Davis made one try-scoring tackle and epitomised the fighting spirit of the home side.
‘Millbrook played better rugby than us in the first half and that galvanised us a bit,’ said Services player-coach Graham Butterworth.
‘In the second half we played more as a team which gave us the edge. We made life difficult for ourselves, though, giving away 16 penalties and getting two yellow cards.
‘But the win puts us top, having won all five games with a bonus point from each.’
Services outscored Millbrook six tries to one with Martin Hoskins and Luke Peters grabbing two each and Paul Connor and Will Rolfe also crossing the line.
A depleted Petersfield had to settle for a losing bonus point as they went down 18-14 at Romsey.
Field were forced to field five debutants.
‘We camped in their half in the second period but Romsey managed to shut us out,’ said coach Andy Patience.
‘It just didn’t go our way but our team gave everything and I am immensely proud.’
In Hampshire two, basement-club Southsea Nomads suffered a 62-8 mauling at Overton.