A MIXTURE of injuries and suspensions took their toll on the Bears as they slipped to a heavy 40-14 defeat at home to Crossfields at the Butts Park Arena.
The hosts were quick out of the blocks early on Saturday when Aussie full-back Duncan Barrett scored the opening try of the afternoon in the second minute following a great offload from Liam Scott.
That lead was short lived as the Warrington-based club hit back with three tries before the opening half-hour.
Despite a consolation try from Kenny Killiher, the game seemed to be over as a contest when Crossfields centre Troy Brophy scored his hat-trick on the half-time whistle with the score at 20-10.
Stephen Coleman scored after the break and the spirit of the Bears never faltered even though the visitors scored three further tries to claim a comfortable win.
“This was always going to be a tough match considering where we were with injuries and unavailable players,” said Bears’ managing director Alan Robinson.
“We have four players in South Africa at the moment playing for Great Britain Students who would have made a huge difference to us.
“These things must be overcome and we will need to be better next week when we travel to Crosfields for the next game of the playoffs.”