COVENTRY RFC were denied victory at the death as the hosts were forced to settle for a 19-19 draw against Jersey Reds after conceding a late penalty try.
Tom Dodd, Josh Bainbridge and Jordon Poole all crossed for Coventry in the second period only for Jersey to strike twice in the final five minutes to come away with two points at Butts Park Arena.
The result means Coventry sit third in the RFU Championship table, eight points behind Jersey in second.
A minute’s silence was impeccably observed prior to kick-off in memory of former Coventry great and British and Irish Lions player David Duckham who died last week (January 9) aged 76.
Neither side created a clear cut chance in the opening quarter of the game as several line breaks were halted by fine recovery tackles.
However, Jersey finally scored the game’s first points when Ben Woollett went over in the corner after good work from Tomi Lewis and Jordon Colgate.
Coventry made a strong start to the second period as Poole broke through the Jersey defence and the ball ended up over the try line only for the referee to spot a knock on.
However, Coventry were not to be denied a second time as the home side powered their way over the line from a driving maul, following a lineout, as Dodd emerged with the ball to claim the try.
And Coventry crossed again soon after as Bainbridge cruised through a gap to score from Will Chudley’s pass after a fine initial break from James Martin with Pat Pellegrini adding the extras.
The home side looked to have sealed victory with 10 minutes left to play when Poole raced through a gap and around the last defender to crash over from a perfectly executed set-piece from a lineout with Pellegrini kicking the conversion.
However, Jersey refused to be beaten and scored their second try with five minutes left to play from a scrum close to the Coventry line as Tom Grey dotted down and Russell Bennett kicked the extras.
And the Reds snatched an unlikely draw in the final minute from another scrum five-metres from the Coventry line as the referee awarded a penalty try with the home side scrambling to prevent the score.
Coventry are next in action away at Ampthill on Saturday, January 21 with kick-off at 2pm at Dillingham Park.