Ellon RFC had their lead at the top of BT Caledonia Division 2 North cut to just two points on Saturday when they lost away to local rivals Garioch.
The Kellands Park outfit came out of what was a closely fought contest with a 24-18 win which blows open this title race.
Garioch may now be within two points of the leaders but they have played one game more and Ellon’s losing bonus point from Saturday’s match means the gap to third place Moray, who beat Aberdeen University Medics 71-0, is only cut to five points with Ellon having a far superior points difference.
The defeat was just Ellon’s second loss of the season, with the other coming against Moray back in early December in Elgin.
Speaking after Saturday’s match, Ellon head coach Sam Mountain said: “Garioch played well and on the face of it deserved their win.
“We made too many simple mistakes and couldn’t build any pressure in the first half. Once we kept the ball and built pressure we scored.
“But we cant expect to win games by only playing 20 minutes of rugby. It simply was not good enough.
“I have always said there is too much rugby to be played and that remains the case.
“We are in a good position and have to win as many games as possible now.
“We always want to win first and foremost by one or 100, it doesn’t matter, but the losing bonus point is important so it’s always nice to get them.
“I thought we deserved a losing bonus point from Saturday. If we came away with nothing we would have been bitterly disappointed.”
The Meadows side now have the next two weekends off with no domestic rugby this Saturday due to Scotland taking on England in the Six Nations and Ross Sutherland being in cup action next Saturday.
Ellon’s next game will be on Saturday, March 10 when they welcome Highland 2nd XV to The Meadows.
“The breaks are just nonsense in my opinion,” Mountain added.
“We now have two weeks off and are playing into May.
“The guys will be raring for Highland I can assure you of that, they will want to right the wrongs from last weekend.
“Highland I imagine will play a wide brand of rugby but also look to be physical at the breakdown.
“But, as I said before, our lads will be right up for it and we are keen to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.”