VALIANT Birmingham & Solihull Bees were narrowly beaten 51-37 away to Worthing Raiders after conceding three late tries.
Having recovered from a 34-16 deficit to lead 37-34 with just under 10 minutes remaining of the National League Two South clash, Bees were left scratching their heads as to how they threw away the win in a 13-try thriller.
Bees started the brighter and their early pressure was rewarded when Corey Venus crossed the line for a try but Jack Jolly missed the conversion.
Raiders notched up their first points of the afternoon thanks to a Matt McLean penalty.
And just before the end of the first quarter the hosts managed to score two tries, with Liam Perkins and Curtis Barnes crashing over.
McLean converted just one of the tries to give his side a 15-5 lead.
Bees reduced the arrears moments later when Jolly’s penalty in the 22 minute went over off the post.
With six minutes before the break McLean touched down for Worthing’s third try of the afternoon.
McLean added the extra two points to give Worthing a 22-8 advantage before Jolly kicked another penalty for Bees on the stroke of half-time.
After the interval Bees were the first to score when Max Rodman crossed the line for an unconverted try.
Just five minutes later Raiders secured the bonus point try, with Jack Forrest’s clever footwork and electric pace enabling home to score.
Not long after Forrest scored again, with McLean’s conversion giving his side a 34-16 advantage.
With just under a quarter of the game remaining, Bees came to life as they scored three converted tries in the space of ten minutes.
Umraan Jadwat, Dan Kelly and Luke Smith all crossed the whitewash as the visitors took a 37-34 lead with seven minutes remaining.
However, this was as good as it got for the Bees who lost their concentration and conceded three late tries.
John Dawe went over first but that went unconverted.
McLean was next over and added the extras himself before Dawe completed the scoring in the 79th minute.
Bees entertain Redruth on Saturday.