Oxford Saints’ play-off hopes ended with a 42-24 defeat at home to Milton Keynes Pathfinders on Sunday.

In a disappointing display, Saints were kept at arms length by the Buckinghamshire side who now meet Peterborough Saxons in the play-off semi-finals.

The visitors went ahead with a stunning 65-yard touchdown from running back Curtis Williston and it got worse for Saints when Neil Arthur charged into the end-zone for a 14-point lead.

The Saints stayed composed and cut the deficit when a 60-yard drive allowed Mike Oluwole to power over from a yard out.

However, Christopher Parr made it 22-6 when he fielded Jonny Dovers’s kick-off inside his 20-yard line and exploded past the cover for an 82-yard score.

Worse to follow at the start of the third quarter when Richard Smith ran in at the back corner for a comfortable 28-6 lead, though Chris Ellis cut their deficit with a touchdown after good work from Josh Randall and rookie Harry Carr.

But just as Saints started to gain some momentum, Parr struck again for his second score of the day following a 71-yard run.

However, Saints did not give up, with a magnificent 90-yard drive, featuring a 58-yard reception from Ali Galbraith was capped by Oluwole’s second score of the day to bring them within 18 points of Milton Keynes.

DeAngelo Laaland extended the visitors’ lead with a 19-yard touchdown, and although Ellis scored his second, following some solid Oxford possession, by then it was too late as their play-off dream disappeared for another season.