ST Pat's had an opportunity to level the scores at the death during Saturday's Peter McDonald Premiership clash away to Mudgee Dragons but the missed opportunity left the Saints with a 20-14 defeat at Glen Willow Stadium.
The Saints were held scoreless in the second half after carrying a 14-10 lead into the break, as the boot of Jack Littlejohn and increased intensity in attack from the hosts gave the Dragons the ascendancy.
Pat's controlled the back end of the match and began to apply more pressure over the final 10 minutes, leading to one late push towards the Mudgee try line, but it was to be another close defeat for the blue and white.
It's the second time this season that the Saints have lost to the Dragons by one scoring play (12-8, round five).
St Pat's got themselves out to an early 10-0 lead on the back of tries to Matt Beattie and Blake Fitzpatrick plus a conversion from the former.
The visitors could only keep Mudgee contained for so long before Nathan Orr opened their account in the 22nd minute with a converted try, and an unconverted try to Littlejohn just over 10 minutes later levelled it up.
The momentum didn't carry into the new half of football, and it was over the first 20 minutes of the new period that the Dragons effectively won the match.
Tries to Hudson Brown and Charlie Clayton before the hour mark gave the Dragons a six point lead that they would be able to hold for the remainder of the match, despite a valiant late resurgence from Pat's.
It continues what's been a frustrating season for the Saints, who have looked dominant across several moments this year while missing out on three potential wins (their two to Mudgee along with a draw against Bathurst Panthers).
The win has Mudgee Dragons at the top of the Group 10 standings while the Saints continue to look for a way inside the competition's top four.
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