Enfield Ignatians were left kicking themselves after letting a golden opportunity pass them by against Hampstead, but ultimately they had no one else to blame but themselves for Saturday’s 15-13 London Two North-West defeat at Donkey Lane.

The hosts did enjoy the majority of territory and possession, but a lack of cutting edge regarding converting pressure into points came back to haunt them.

However, the blue and golds could also feel aggrieved at being denied a late penalty decision which ultimately could have swung the game their way.

Following some sterling work at the breakdown from man-of-the-match Wes Warren, and Hampstead failing to clear out the contact area, the initial impressions were that the visitors were guilty of holding on.

However, much to the frustration of Ignatians players and supporters, the penalty opportunity was denied to them which left Enfield with the scant consolation of a losing bonus point.

Coach Shane Manning said: “We aren’t far off from turning these close defeats into wins, but everyone is frustrated because they can see that the potential is there.

“Things don’t get any easier with our next game being against runaway league leaders Belsize Park, but we will regroup, get back on the training field and focus on what we need to do to keep on improving.”

Hampstead claimed both tries in broken play situations and, with the home side’s defensive alignment also going awry, the visitors cashed in to lead 12-6 at the break.

Paul Duke, promoted from the second team and playing at scrum-half, tucked away both Ignatians’ penalty opportunities as they kept within touching distance.

The second half followed a similar pattern and, in a rare incursion into the Ignatians 22, the visitors extended their lead to nine points after nailing the penalty.

It all made for a fraught finish but Ignatians kept hammering away and eventually broke through after prop Christo Kasabi burst over from the maul with less than 10 minutes remaining.

The mood continued to brighten after second-half replacement Jordan Wilson, having taken over the scrum-half duties, landed the conversion as Ignatians inched to within two points.

Ignatians went all out for the win but the denial of a penalty opportunity was symptomatic that it wasn’t to be their day.