Shelford were unable to exit their 2022/23 South East regional campaign with a win on Saturday.
Peacocks, who were one of the newly promoted teams in the division, were chasing victory to boost their chances of finishing second.
However, facing mid-table visitors Tunbridge Wells, they ended up losing 47-27 in a high-scoring contest.
After trailing within three minutes, Shelford quickly got his first points on the board via a Lewis Cracknell penalty in the fifth minute.
Then the hosts took the lead for the first time with 18 minutes to play when Lui Tang fired the quickie, and while he was stopped 10 meters out, after four stages Mike Gillick made his way through and Cracknell added the extras.
However, two tries – one converted – and a penalty gave visiting Tunbridge promotion at the end of the first half, although Shelford remained in contention with another penalty from Cracknell.
Converted tries were exchanged between the two sides in the early part of the second half – with Ollie Walker moving on to Shelford – before a penalty and another converted try were converted, allowing the visitors to go 37-20 in front.
Gillick’s second try of the game with six minutes remaining gave Shelford some hope, but Tonbridge sealed it with a converted try and a penalty in the last minute.
Despite the loss, third-placed Colchester were also beaten, meaning they trail Shelford by three points ahead of their season-ending clash at Hertford on Saturday.
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