SLAITHWAITE Saracens remain on course for the Pennine League Division II title after extending their unbeaten run to 11 games.
But Huddersfield rivals Newsome Panthers came within touching distance of pulling off a major upset as they were just edged out 20-18 in a cracking encounter.
As expected, some ferocious defence was the order of the day, while some of the attacking rugby on display would not have been out of place in the Premier Division.
After a tight opening with defences on top, the Saracens opened the scoring, but by half-time the Panthers had opened up a 12-6 lead.
With the home side’s forwards on top and led superbly by man-of-the-match Luke Roberts, it was no surprise when a last-tackle power play resulted in Thomas Guinan crossing for the first of his brace, converted by Ross Studholme.
And the Panthers followed up with more good play to put Alex Chatterton over in the corner for a try converted by Ben Dawson.
Slaithwaite started the second half the brighter and were soon 14-12 ahead.
But Newsome then woke up, going back on the front foot for Guinan to cross after good work from Ben Cuttell, with Studholme’s conversion putting the home side four points clear.
Slaithwaite again showed their champion qualities again with a try to level the scores before Newsome’s ill-discipline enabled Danny Garside to land a matchwinning penalty.
The Panthers’ second string also produced a battling display before losing 16-12 at Cowling Harlequins in Division VI.
The visitors were dominant in the opening half, leading 12-0 at the break after tries from Jordan Andrade and Arron Nicholson and two Matthew Oldfied conversions, but silly penalties and a lack of concentration cost them dear in the second period.
And this was despite an outstanding effort from Newsome man-of-the-match Harry McQuillan.