WREXHAM suffered late heartbreak on Saturday as they went down 18-17 at home to Newtown.
The Bryn Estyn Road outfit gave it their all in a well-contested North Wales League Division Two clash only to fall to a last-gasp penalty.
Although Wrexham had the elements in their favour in the first half, a combination of ring rustiness after six weeks of inactivity and having to field a scratch side ensured they did not get out of their stride until the second quarter.
Trailing to an unconverted try, the hosts huffed and puffed, with centre Mike Jones and scrum-half John Roberts showing the way, until lock Phil Williams won a line-out to allow his second-row partner Ian Sanger to crash over in the corner for a touchdown which Jones converted from a sharp angle.
Centre Andy Clutton would have extended the lead had he not been hauled down in the 22 following a jinking run, but it was Newtown, despite the best efforts of hooker John Gill, who scored next with a converted effort shortly into the second half.
Wrexham stormed back, however, and moved five points clear with tries from Sanger and No 8 Wayne Roberts, for whom it was his first of the season.
But Newtown, with the wind at their backs, broke through some superb defence to win it with a brace of penalties, the latter coming in the dying minutes.
Wrexham captain Guy Bingham, whose men will be without a match on Saturday unless they re-arrange their postponed visit of Bangor, said: “I thought that everyone put a lot of effort into the game, but we just lacked a bit of skill at times.”
Under-strength Wrexham 2nds, in spite of fine performances from prop Brendan O’Malley and hooker Tom Petty, were thrashed 46-0 at Abergele in Division Four on Saturday.
Llangollen, inspired by second-row Dan Davies, won 20-11 at home to Mold 2nds through tries from fullback Dave Edwards and skipper and No 8 Huw Evans (2) and a conversion and a penalty from Richard Jasper.
Wrexham Youth kept their WRU Youth Leagues Gogledd Cymru Region Division One championship hopes alive with a 13-0 victory at Pwllheli Youth.
Flanker Rob Moore and winger Christian Chalk touched down to add to a penalty by outside-half Jamie Morris, while returning hooker David Blackwell impressed.
Wrexham RUFC is staging ‘An Evening with Phil Bennett’ as part of its new Rugby Legends Series.
Bennett, the former Wales outside-half, will be at the club’s Bryn Estyn Road home on Friday, January 30 (7pm). Tickets cost £40, including a meal.
Priority is given to club members and sponsors but other ticket applications can be made to Deborah Parry-Edwards on 07873250822 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org