HARBURY slipped to their first defeat of the season after losing out 21-12 away at Pershore in the Midlands 4 West (South) league.
When the teams met in the final match of last season it was Harbury who won a narrow encounter and this game was as tight but the outcome was based on borderline decisions by the match officials.
Harbury though were perhaps guilty of not taking their opportunities when they arose and an early penalty in front of the Pershore posts was turned down and a line out was taken. However, the expected catch and drive was not well executed and Pershore cleared their lines.
Pershore took their chance when a strong running three quarter burst through the home cover to score beneath the post and the conversion was added for 7-0.
Harbury responded well and a well won set piece allowed the ball to be moved at pace across the back line with centre Steve Alford touching down for his sixth try in four matches. Outside half Russ Clarke added the conversion with an excellent kick.
Conditions were not easy for either side but right wing Mark Rooney used his exceptional pace to score a fine try and take his team into a 12-7 lead.
However a controversial Perhsore try was awarded after the officials failed to spot a seemingly obvious froward pass and the simple conversion put the hosts two points ahead at half-time.
The second half did not go as well as it might with an injury to Rooney following a fine tackle and a further injury to a visiting forward.
Both were replaced and though Harbury had a full bench they sensibly resisted making wholesale changes.
Harbury then had two touchdowns turned down and Pershore, then flattered with a strong run by their centre through a series of miss tackles to add a third try to win the match.
Harbury are at home to Redditch in the league this Saturday (3pm).