Buxton’s wafer-thin squad warmed up for this Saturday’s big kick-off with a morale-boosting 21-14 win in the NLD Cup Competition first round, away at Ashfield.
The visitors put in a gritty performance with depleted resources and had to fend off an Ashfield fightback.
The Buxton pack lit up the game with a series of ferocious attacks from the base of the scrum resulting in an early try for skipper Ian Scott after just five minutes, under the posts.
Buxton were working hard at both ends of the field and on 25 minutes they saw their lead double, when Kieran Wain went over.
Ryan Sircar converted both tries to make it 14-0.
Some ferocious tackling then hit the Bucks hard when captain Scott departed from the action after a clash of heads with centre Gavin Passey.
A quick reshuffle saw stand-off Tommy McGuigan enter the fray with Sam Edwards also introduced.
The alteration in personnel gave the visitors a boost and they went into the break with a 21-0 lead.
Wain finished a flowing move off with his second of the day, with Sircar adding the extras to give Buxton a commanding lead at the interval.
The second half was an entirely different affair with Ashfield dominating possession and scoring two converted tries to run Buxton close, although they manage to do enough to progress.
• Buxton travel to newly-promoted Rolls Royce on Saturday for the opening league game, before Skegness visit Sunnyfields seven days later (September 20).