SUPER Slaithwaite Saracens are now the firm favourites to lift the Pennine League Second Division crown after recording the most significant victory of the season.
Just two weeks after knocking leaders Westgate Wolves out of the Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy, the Saracens inflicted the first League defeat of the season on their Wakefield rivals after securing a magnificent 32-18 away win.
Westgate do still remain two points clear at the top, having played two games more, but Slaithwaite are now within striking distance after making it 10 League wins out of 10 by taming the Wolves once again.
But the home side started strongly and, with the advantage of the slope, took the lead after eight minutes with a converted try.
However, just like in the Trophy clash a fortnight ago, the Wolves seemed intent on adopting a physical approach rather than concentrating on the rugby.
And seven minutes later the Saracens took full advantage when Matty Garside crossed for an unconverted try.
By half-time, however, Slaithwaite had opened up a 12-6 advantage and were good value for their lead.
Scrum-half Nathan Shaw scored a superb try from inside his own half and Garside converted and then followed up with a penalty to put the Saracens in control.
Westgate levelled the scores within minutes of the restart, but the rest of the game belonged to the visitors.
Adam Warner set the ball rolling with a try to take his side back in front and Stuart Dunbar quickly followed up with a fourth Slaithwaite try to open up a 10-point gap.
Once again Westgate hit back with a converted try to remain in the contest.
But that just signalled the start of the Saracens’ victory charge.
Another Garside penalty swung the momentum back Slaithwaite’s way and minutes later Darren Hawkyard had crossed to extend the lead before Dunbar scored his second to seal a superb – and highly significant – success.