Huddersfield YMCA are fully focused on saving themselves from National III North relegation in their final match of the season.
The Laund Hill men can only survive with a bonus-point victory at home to mid-table Sheffield – and they’ve then got to hope fourth-bottom Stockport pick up nothing in their final fixture at already-relegated Birkenhead Park.
That’s the scenario following YM’s agonising 32-27 defeat at Ilkley, when a late lost scrum proved extremely costly.
“We dominated it and we should have won,” said YM director of rugby Damon Scholes.
“The lads showed a lot of character and we were in front with 15 minutes to go, but Ilkley took advantage of the only scrum we lost all day and that was that.
“All the players are very focused and determined, though, on the Sheffield match and they will be giving it their all.”
Ilkley forged ahead early in the match with a Joe Rowntree penalty and an Ed Brown try, which Rowntree goaled for a 10-0 lead.
YM hit back through a Gavin Stead try to which Simon Wilson added the two, but Ilkley responded with a Declan Jackson try and then a converted Pat Power touchdown.
Stuart Morton got YM on the board again before half time, but Wilson’s kick was off target and it was 22-12 at the break.
A Wilson penalty and an try from the in-form centre Adam Ryder reduced the arrears to just two and then YM, dominating possession, went ahead with a fine Sam Hodge try converted by Wilson.
The scrum half then went to extend the lead with a penalty, but his effort hit the woodwork and suddenly the tide seemed to turn.
Ilkley levelled things up with a Rowntree try and then, after winning their only scrum against the head, won with a touchdown from Ollie Renton.
YM are third bottom with three to go down.
Burnage and Birkenhead Park are already down, but YM are on 42 points, four behind Stockport.
YM can achieve a bonus point by scoring four tries against Sheffield and combining that with a win would give them five points.
Should they achieve that and Stockport emerge empty-handed from Birkenhead Park, then YM would stay up.
A win without the bonus point would not be good enough because Stockport have a far superior points difference.