Stewarts & Lloyds’ ambition of winning Midlands Three East (South) suffered a big setback as they lost to title rivals Stamford.
The top-of-the-table clash in Lincolnshire saw the home side take the spoils and deny their opponents a losing bonus point thanks to a 39-28 scoreline.
It gives Stamford a grip on the crown as they sit at the summit a point clear of second-placed Rugby St Andrews but with two games in hand.
The race is far from over, however, with several games still to be played. Rushden & Higham kept their interest alive as they ground out a 10-5 verdict at Daventry.
Wellingborough helped their ambition of avoiding the drop from Midlands Two East (South) with a fantastic win over Old Scouts.
Boro triumphed 39-19 with Pete Vickers playing the key role.
The fly-half was in inspirational form kicking 24 points and also playing a major role in his side’s third try.
Chris Shipman, Chris Mears and Rob Armstrong all touched down and Boro thought they had scored a fourth for a bonus point only for the referee to rule it out.
The seconds also won - 36-7 at Spalding thanks to Joel Smith (2), Mark Bartlem, Shaun Mackie, Phil Meyer and Steven Mills tries - while the Colts continued their impressive campaign with 67-0 win at Olney.
Aiden McAvoy (2), Adam Bolton (2), Jonny Gill (2), Ben Taylor, Freddie Davidson, James Smith, James Stout and Adam White all touched down.
Oundle kept the pressure on for the second promotion spot in Midlands Four East (South) with an emphatic away victory against St Neots.
A stunning display by the Owls brought them a 33-15 victory over the side who started the day just above them in third place.
Alykhan Kachra (2), Toby Snelling (2), Ross Murray got the tries as Oundle recovered from a slow start to win.
Coach Pete Croot said: ”It was a game that could have easily finished with both sides scoring 30 or more points extra.
“We came into this match without a recognised playmaker at nine and I was proud of the effort by both players who stepped up.
“We must improve in our tackling to make our attacking play count for anything.
“But we came and did what we had to do. A bonus-point win away from home is vital in closing down on the leading pair.”
Things did not go so well for Corby in the same section.
They were only trailing 22-5 at the break against Bedford Swifts but ended up losing 74-5.
Team manager Ricky Egan explained: “We just could not compete with Swifts forwards. I really felt for my pack this weekend they took a beating.
“Over the next few games we have got to concentrate on playing the game regardless of the score.”
Old Grammarians suffered a 39-5 loss from their trip to Bourne.
It was also a day to forget for Kettering in Midlands One East.
They travelled to county rivals Towcestrians but drew a blank returned on the back of 25-0 loss.