Harpenden's first ever game at level five in the RFU's pyramid had a dramatic conclusion - with the visitors grabbing a point at the death in a 24-24 draw at Colchester.

It was a match that had everything but with two minutes left on the clock Harps were 10 points adrift.

Harpenden punched and probed and a had a chance to go for goal and a losing bonus point with three minutes to go.

They opted for the corner though and from the resulting line-out, the ball was kicked into the corner where Zach Atkinson pounced for five points.

A hurried drop goal conversion attempt went wide but when the kick-off drifted into touch, Harps had one more play to try and salvage a draw or even a win

A penalty allowed them to get closer and a shove over from the line-out brought a try for Jonathan Ward and the scores level.

The conversion could have won them the game but it went wide, still enough though to give them three points from game one.

First-half tries from Ben Campion and Ed Mason, both converted by , gave them a 14-10 interval lead but that had been wiped out by two converted home tries until those final moments.

Old Albanian began life in National Two East with a victory also, beating Guernsey on the island 27-25.

This too had late drama but unlike Colchester, OAs were able to hang on for the points.

A yellow card to Jarryd Sage gave Guernsey the chance to open the scoring, Tom Ceillam doing just that and Owen Thomas making it 7-0, but Albanian regrouped and by half-time led 13-7.

Sam Jones kicked two penalties and then added the conversion to Bailey Thomas's try with the only downside being Ollie Brown's knee injury that took him out of the game.

Ciaran McGann and another Thomas kick put the home side in front again and two penalties from the Guernsey fly-half made it 20-13.

But that just sparked Albanian back to life and in the space of twelve minutes Jordan Evans and skipper Ashley Illston had both crossed, Jones kicking the extras to put the visitors 27-20 ahead.

Guernsey were not prepared to go quietly though and with time up, Dan Morgan slipped through the OA defence to score in the corner.

Fortunately for them, the conversion slipped wide and with it the chance to tie.

OAs are at home to Henly on Saturday while Harpenden travel to Bedford Athletic.

St Albans and Tabard start their Counties Two Herts Middlesex seasons on Saturday, Saints going to Harrow while Tabard host Royston.