Aspatria will be pleased to see the back of September as they crashed to a 22-13 home defeat against De La Salle.

The Black Reds have only managed two wins from five outings since the season began and their ambitions to move up a league already look tenuous.

The visitors were first out of the traps, launching a serious attack on the Aspatria line from minute one as the ball was regained from their kick-off.

This was a sustained offensive but, confronted by a solid Aspatria defence, ran out of patience and some sloppy work in the back division cost them the opening score.

Aspatria released the pressure after six minutes when Lee Tinnion was dragged down near the line.

Aspatria remained in the danger zone and mounted a prolonged attack.

But the killer instinct seemed to have deserted the home side.

On 12 minutes, they settled for taking the lead with a Grant Bethwaite penalty.

As the first quarter passed, the teams looked well matched.

Aspatria’s line-out was going well and they seemed to have an edge in the scrum, but neither were decisive factors.

Both sides missed chances with the most glaring on 19 minutes when De La Salle should have been over the line after creating an overlap but messed up.

Off the hook, Aspatria had the opportunity to extend their lead on 23 minutes, but a penalty attempt sailed wide.

The game was swinging end to end and, as if to demonstrate this, De La Salle drew level on 25 minutes.

The Aspatria defence stood firm after losing a scrum against the head, and with nothing much on, Ben Wheeler landed a drop goal.

The first try came on 32 minutes after powerful charges up field by forwards Greg Dickinson, Liam Ridley and Matthew Atkinson planted Aspatria two metres from the De La Salle line.

When the ruck developed close to the corner, the visitors failed to defend a narrow blind side and Fraser McNee was on hand to pick the ball out of a mound of bodies and sneak over for the score.

Bethwaite landed a fine touchline conversion.

They should have taken this lead into the second half but some sloppy defending let De La Salle finish the half with a scoring flourish.

A penalty was kicked into the corner where a catch and drive ended with prop Steve Brooks getting over the line.

The conversion was missed but the visitors were back in business at 10-8.

Aspatria set about De La Salle as the second period started, but failed to exploit a brief period of dominance.

In turn, De La Salle blew a golden chance on 47 minutes.

A cross kick into space completely wrong-footed the Aspatria cover defence and a short dash by the right winger to collect the ball and score in the corner was denied by the raised flag of the touch judge.

Another Bethwaite penalty on 53 minutes extended the home lead to 13-8.

But De La Salle came back strongly and, despite being behind on the scoreboard, began to enjoy the higher percentage of both possession and field position.

Aspatria were now relying heavily on the booming clearance kicks of Tinnion to give them respite.

As the minutes ticked by, the De La Salle scrum was coming increasingly under pressure but Aspatria could not find a way to exploit this advantage.

On 68 minutes, De La Salle took the lead with an excellent backs move that pulled the Aspatria defence out of position and allowed full-back Sean Watson to join the attack and dart through the gap created go the try, which was converted.

With 10 minutes remaining, the Black Reds looked nailed on for a decisive score as they threw everything at the visitors.

They secured great field position close to the whitewash, but wrong options and some determined defence thwarted them.

With four minutes remaining, De La Salle sealed victory with a piece of skill and an outrageous dummy from Nick Petrou which earned him a converted try.

Aspatria were awarded a late penalty near the visitor’s line, but went for the try which failed to materialise.

It might have been more pragmatic to take the kick and possibly a bonus point from the game.