TWO late tries denied Emley Moor a win at West Bowling A which would have confirmed their First Division status.
With the game entering its closing stages the visitors held a 16-10 lead, but their hosts closed the gap to 16-14 with five minutes remaining and then added a converted score three minutes later to secure a dramatic 20-16 triumph.
It was cruel indeed on the visitors, who had run out of substitutions early in the contest and were then forced to play the final quarter with just 12 men after in-form Oliver Davidson picked up an ankle injury.
Had it not been for the lack of numbers, Moor would have been the favourites to have taken the honours as they were the better side in the opening hour.
After conceding an early try, the visitors levelled at 6-6 at the break with a try from Karl Adamski which he converted himself.
And in the second half Moor began to gain the upper hand, with Daniel Pawson crossing for a converted try to put Pete Southwell’s side in front for the first time.
West Bowling struck back with an unconverted try to make it 12-10 before Matt Garretty responded with Moor’s second score to make it 16-10 midway through the second half.
But despite the heroic efforts of the likes of Scott Wilkinson, James Utley, Alex Rollins, Simon Adamski and Tom Beaumont, a lack of numbers eventually took its toll as the home side snatched the victory.
It was far better news for Emley Moor’s second team, however, as they backed up last week’s great win over Cowling Harlequins with another morale boosting victory against Illingworth A at Scissett.
Once again they were forced to play with just the bare minimum of players, but the team showed real grit to triumph 24-8.
James Teal set the standard with a well-taken brace, while Si Walker, Andy Turner, and Kris Shepherd – in his first game of the season – all grabbed one try apiece.
Jack Dyson added two goals to seal the win, with special mention going to Mick Hamner who ran his blood to water tackling everything that moved and youngster Kyle Smith who gets better with every game.