UNDERBANK Rangers were pipped to the post at Dewsbury Celtic in a Conference National clash that could have gone either way.
Rangers were confident of securing victory after holding unbeaten leaders Celtic Crusaders Colts to a 26-26 draw at The Cross the week before.
But the visitors were denied by a try with seven minutes remaining as they eventually fell to a 24-20 defeat.
Within three minutes, Celtic had made their intentions clear, as they opened the scoring when former Giants Academy man Danny Thomas put Ben Hardacre over from 10 metres out for Jason Lee to convert.
Underbank almost reduced the deficit two minutes later but were forced into touch in the corner before they finally drew level in the 16th minute as Darren Hawkyard set up Graham Charlesworth to race over for a try converted by John Birt.
And two minutes later the Huddersfield side were over again as winger Napoleoni Vanaka sneaked through to score in the corner to make it 10-6.
Yet such was the nature of this see-saw battle that Celtic were the next to strike after 25 minutes.
Paul Gledhill sent Steve McNamara in at the corner to level the scores.
The home side continued to put pressure on the Underbank line and two minutes before the break they regained the lead.
Thomas set the ball rolling with an interception to take play into Underbank’s 20m area and, three plays later, Thomas’ well-timed pass sent Gledhill charging over for Thomas to goal and make it 16-10.
The second half proved harder and more physical for both sides, with Celtic having the ball cleared dead in the 45th minute after pressure from Sheara Singh, Thomas and Lee, and then Singh was inches from scoring in the top corner, just being pushed into touch at the flag.
Thomas added a penalty to give his side an eight-point advantage, but midway through the half Underbank hooker Birt cut the gap with a try and three minutes later put his side back in front, adding the extras to Darren Hawkyard’s score to make it 20-18.
But the visitors were denied when Joe Waters crossed for a 77th-minute converted try to seal the outcome.
Underbank’s man-of-the-match award went to Brook York.