Underbank's run of three thumping July triumphs on the trot was brought to an abrupt end with their 34-14 defeat at National Conference League First Division leaders Thatto Heath.
But the visitors only had themselves to blame, with the defeat down to their own errors and dumb play rather than being beaten by a better side.
They did, however, have the better of the early exchanges and took the lead after 16 minutes as Kris Harrop made a darting run out of acting half-back and great handling from Luke Pogson and Michael Murphy released the prolific Adam Ryder to score in the corner. Pogson couldn’t convert the difficult kick.
Rangers then let the ensuing kick-off go into touch and, after a spell of concerted pressure, the Crusaders levelled the scores in the 23rd minute when Adam Hesketh charged over.
Fortunately, Underbank’s response couldn’t have been more positive as they took the lead for a second time five minutes later.
From a quick play-the-ball from Courtney Allette, Harrop spotted the marker defenders out of position and scooted from acting half to score. Pogson again failed to add the extras. However, after just regaining the ascendancy Rangers, once again committed a massive error as Harrop passed straight to grateful Heath half-back Jack Jones to stroll over for a try, converted by Sean Quinn to take the hosts 10-8 ahead.
Then came a crucial passage of play after 38 minutes that potentially could have turned out to be the game-changer.
Alex Chatterton seized on a loose pass in his own quarter and hacked the ball ahead twice. As he hoped the ball would bounce into his arms just 10m from the Heath line the final bounce elude him and went to a home defender.
Thatto knocked-on on the following play, Sam Rochford picked and ‘scored’, but the touchjudge unbelievably adjudged Rochford to be in an offside position and the try was scratched off.
To rub salt in the wound the home side then marched downfield on the back of two penalties and Quinn added two points to give them a four-point interval advantage.
Heath increased their lead within three minutes of the restart when Sean Leicester crossed and Quinn again converted to increase the lead to ten points.
However, Underbank hit back just six minutes later as Rochford forced his way over from acting half following strong surges by Kris Harrop and Craig Williams.
Pogson added the extras, it was now 18-14 and hope had been renewed.
However, that was as good as it got for the visitors.
In the final quarter Thatto posted three tries in the final quarter to give the final score line a unfair lopsided look, with Hesketh, Aaron Dancer and Chris Frodsham all crossing.
Underbank will learn from this chastening experience that you can’t invite good opponents into your own quarter and expect to get away with it, but they’ll also realise that they weren’t far away from competing with the Division’s top team.
Dan Farand picked up the Bengal Spice Man of the Match award, but he was pushed for the accolade by hard working skipper Kris Harrop and the impressive Danny Bravo, who won the Rose and Crown Players’ Player.