YMCA produced a much-improved display as they restricted high-scoring Sandal to just three tries in a 20-10 President’s Day defeat at Laund Hill.
The latest loss keeps YM anchored at the foot of Yorkshire I along with Keighley, who visit Salendine Nook on Saturday.
But considering former National League club Sandal had amassed 114 points in their first two games, this result gives YM coach Carl Thewlis something to build on.
Sandal’s much heavier pack suggested YM would be in for a hard afternoon.
And it was no surprise when they opened the scoring after just seven minutes when visiting hooker Jon Sewell was driven over.
That was quickly followed by a second try when left winger Dave Ell scored in the corner.
Neither was converted, and they served to act as a wake-up call to YM, who opened their account with a well-struck penalty from Gavin Stead.
With fly half Paul Williams kicking well, YM began to exert a little pressure of their own.
David Rees, playing his 100th first-team game, was unlucky when he was clearly held back after chipping into the goal area.
And YM suffered further disappointment when injured skipper James Bracken had to be replaced by Craig Coulson after 35 minutes.
Under 18 winger Adam Ryder was stopped just short after a pacy run just before the break.
But YM were back on level terms shortly after the restart, when Williams put through a delightful chip kick which the impressive Neil Walker latched onto to charge over the line wide out.
Stead landed a great conversion, and with the front row standing up well and YM starting to take good line-out ball, a home win looked on the cards.
But they put themselves under pressure by failing to secure touch from free-kicks and it needed two terrific tackles from Rees to keep out dangerous wingman Simon Frewin.
The pace of the game began to take its toll on the YM forwards, and an offside at the ruck gave Tom Smith the chance to put Sandal back in front with a penalty.
But this again brought a positive response from the home side with full-back Chris Belton embarking on a 70-yard run, carried on by the impressive Ryder, while on another attack, Simon Wilson was held just short.
Sandal’s forwards began to slow the game down and restricted YM’s possession.
And they were fortunate when they got the benefit of a handling error, Smith picking up for an easy try which he also converted.
While the visitors did have the edge, the final scoreline flattered them. YM need to improve their fitness levels and work on retaining possession for longer periods.
YMCA: Belton; Wilson, Rees, Stead, Ryder; Williams, Wulfe; Niekirk, Joblin, Dobson, Whitehead, Pearson, Bracken (Coulson 35), Anderson, Walker. Subs: Travis, Gregson.
Sandal: Reakes; Ell, Hall, Mitchell, Frewin; Smith, Hemingway; Tee, Sewell, Norbury, Riley, Overton, Norris, Burgess, Wade. Subs: Dix, McCormack, Brindley.
Referee: Iwan Thomas (North Yorkshire).