Cornish Pirates 21 Pertemps Bees 13
Pertemps Bees director of rugby Phil Maynard felt his side deserved more out of the game after they slipped to a narrow defeat in the far south-west.
Having led for all but the final ten minutes, it was a late converted try from home lock Heino Senekal that robbed Maynard's men of an all-important bonus point - and made their long trek back up the M5 all the more difficult.
"We're bitterly disappointed," said Maynard. "I felt we deserved a lot more out of the game today.
"Our effort and our commitment was first-class throughout and, in the end, it's an interception try that's cost us at least a point.
"When you look at the comparison between the two sides and consider that we have a significantly lower playing budget than they have, then we're not too far behind these top clubs. We made a few mistakes towards the end, but in reality the game was won on the toss of a coin."
With first use of a howling westerly wind, the Bees wasted little time in attacking their Cornish hosts, who won the corresponding fixture 36-24 at Sharmans Cross Road in October.
Just six minutes had been played when a flowing move saw wingers Tom Beim and Aaron Takarangi and centre Simon Martin combine to release Adam Billig, but he was unable to hold on to the pass and knocked on just short of the home line.
It was a let-off for the Pirates, but it was not long before the Bees made their mark, scrum-half Ben Harvey firing them in front after 11 minutes after Pirates No 8 Tim Cowley had been penalised for going offside.
The Bees were clearly dominating the early exchanges and it was the visitors who added to their advantage on 14 minutes. The impressive Harvey released full-back Dave Knight at pace, he brushed off the attentions of centre Shaun James, before feeding the ball to Beim, who collected and ran in under the posts. Harvey added the extras for a 10-0 lead.
Though Harvey, the son of former Pirates player Brett Harvey, failed with a long-distance penalty on 19 minutes, he atoned shortly after with a second successful kick as the visitors continued to lay some early foundations.
However, as half-time approached, the Bees were stung with a brilliant counter-attack from their hosts.
Full-back Wes Davies collected inside his own 22 before instigating a move that involved at least three different sets of hands, before the ball finally found its way to winger Richard Welding, who crossed in the right-hand corner.
Up by eight points at the break, the Bees could certainly have been proud of their first-half display, though a few extra points would have been handy in their attempt to stave off the Pirates' wave of attacks.
Tom Barlow reduced the arrears with a 50th minute penalty, then fired over a dropped goal with 11 minutes remaining to leave just a point in it. However, the Bees were still in front and still capable of pulling off a shock win.
But another decisive blow from Barlow on 71 minutes put the Cornish club in front for the first time in the match and it was a position they were not willing to surrender in the dying stages.
Though the Bees looked for fresh impetus from their bench, they were unable to secure crucial ball and instead turned to some kamikaze-style attacking in a bid to find their way downfield.
Sadly, the tactic failed when Tim Walsh fired a loose pass straight into the arms of Namibia international Senekal just yards from the line and the Pirates forward gleefully accepted the chance to touch down for his second try of the season.
Barlow's last-gasp conversion meant the Bees were eight points adrift and they had been denied the bonus point they had worked long and hard for.