North Midlands Women were edged out 21-15 by Durham in their final match of this season’s Gill Burns County Championship at Birmingham University.
A first half try from wing Jada Bailey (Aston OE) in between two converted tries from Durham kept North Midlands in contention in a keenly-contested affair.
Number eight Anna Stelfox (Birmingham Exiles) then reduced the deficit to four points with an unconverted try 10 minutes from time.
But Durham responded with a third, and decisive, converted try five minutes later.
A second try from Stelfox two minutes from time gave North Midlands a sniff of victory but time ran out on them in a frenetic finale.