Pertemps Bees 26 London Welsh 10
A relegation battle is normally a nervy, full-blooded affair played out by two sides in desperate need of a win.
Mistakes are inevitable, the tension forces players to miss tackles, drop passes they should catch and make decisions that leave everyone else baffled.
Most of all, the over-riding emotion is fear. Not just of losing a game, but of what that will mean in the final reckoning.
The fear seeps into every aspect of the game and washes over an entire ground; it leaves supporters nervy and can paralyse some players.
This ingredient is what gives a game like this its' bite: take it away and, while still full-blooded, it has more of the meaningless mid-table scuffle about it than a fight for survival.
It may still be that there is relegation from National One this season, but it seems unlikely and the players know it.
With the clubs ready to extend the league to 16 teams and a Rugby Football Union working party expected to recommend the same thing, those sides finishing bottom are likely to suffer no more than the shame of bringing up the rear.
None of which should suggest that either Pertemps Bees or London Welsh weren't fully committed to winning this game.
For Bees, a win was essential to end a run of defeats stretching back to November. For Welsh, another win, added to recent victories over Exeter and Newbury, would have moved them further away from the bottom two, but it wasn't life or death.
It was, however, Bees' first game at home for two months and still only 700 people turned up to watch.
What they saw was a home side having to fight on two fronts. While attempting to keep a powerful and well-organised Welsh side at bay, Phil Maynard's men also had their own inner demons to confront.
"I've spent the last 15 years at the top half of leagues and winning them," said director of rugby Maynard.
"It's strange, because the same anxieties at the top start creeping in at the bottom when the pressure comes on. When it's hard, you start to snatch at things and then, when the pressure's off, you play all your rugby.
"Pressure is applied for different reasons, but the same principles apply: you snatch at balls, drop things, make mistakes and play within your shell."
Fly-half Tim Walsh knows all about that. Against Plymouth last week, he missed several crucial kicks,and, on Saturday, he missed three out of four attempts.
He missed his first after 11 minutes and didn't get a chance to miss his second until the stroke of half-time. Fortunately for Walsh, his side's determined defence in the interim kept the visitors to a solitary try from hooker Chris Ritchie.
Given the events of the first half and the previous five weeks, the second half was something of a shock, pleasant though it was for the home support. The run of the ball, which has eluded Bees recently, went their way and Ben Harvey came on.
Where Walsh had failed, Harvey proved infallible. He kicked three penalties and converted two tries from Adam Billig and Ed Orgee as Bees got their game back on track.
Bees have enough talent to keep themselves away from the bottom two and this win and the battling nature of it should go some way to restoring the confidence that has been drained from the side.
And while relegation may not be an issue come the end of this season, with an extended league in operation next year, the threat will be all too real.
Still operating as a part-time club, Bees are among a dying breed and their struggles so far are symptomatic of a wider problem.
"There's no bad sides in this division," said Maynard. "Every year, it gets a bit stronger and, in four or five years, this will be a full-time league and it will be excellent.
"But it's a case of how long part-time teams can hang on in there. Nottingham are going full-time next year, that'll be ten.
"Moseley are virtually full-time, with the way they have structured their playing setup, so there are only about four of us (part-time teams) left."
Fear is a powerful motivator and while it may not pervade the end of this season, it should at least inspire some action for next. For the time being, though, Bees can savour a win that ends a miserable run of defeats.
With Sedgley Park to face at home next week, the climb away from the bottom should receive a further boost.