Underbank Rangers retained top spot in the National Conference’s Division One table with a late rally to win 23-16 at Blackbrook.
They battled back to take a 14th win in 15 games, but with just ten minutes remaining they trailed their bottom three opponents 16-10.
Hooker Sam Rochford was a first half try scorer and Luke Pogson added a conversion plus two penalties to give Rangers a slender 10-6 lead at the break.
However, they didn’t add to their points tally until the final ten minutes as centre Alex Chatterton and lock forward Craig Williams raced over for tries, Pogson added the extras to both scores while back row forward Billy Rogers added a field goal on 74 minutes when the teams were tied at 16-16.
Rangers had a depleted 17 with wingers Sam Ansell and Courtney Allette both out with leg injuries, Dave Valentine, Casey Clark and Luke Roberts were unavailable and recent signing Frazer Morris departed to Halifax on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
New recruits veteran John Birt and Nathan Chappell both missing with injuries picked up in training.
In their place were Will and Tom England on the flanks, plus Dave Dyson and Jonlee Sanderson returning to the squad as replacements and Nathan Robinson making his debut on the interchange bench.
The first half was a real arm wrestle with Blackbrook taking the lead through winger Nathan Goodwin and Aaron Hewitt added the conversion.
Rangers were level just four minutes later as Rochford spotted a gap and sped through for a great individual try.
Half back Pogson converted and added two penalty goals in the 36th and 38th minutes as Underbank finished the half in the lead at 10-6.
In the second half Blackbrook levelled on 47 minutes as Goodwin darted over for his second try and the hosts took the lead on 66 minutes as hooker Jimmy Brown crashed over and Hewitt’s conversion put the hosts 16-10 ahead with 14 minutes remaining.
Underbank went close to scoring on several occasions before Rochford put Chatterton through and Pogson converted the try.
All the momentum was with Rangers and on 74 minutes Rogers kicked his first ever field goal from 20 metres to give his side a one point lead.
On 78 minutes Underbank’s Williams sealed the win and the two points and Pogson coolly slotted over the extras.
Williams took both the Rose & Crown, Thurstonland Players’ Player of the Match award and the Bengal Spice, Holmfirth Player of the Match for his all action display on both attack and defence, while Joey Eichner was selected as the official Man of the Match by the match referee.