Dewsbury Rams produced an entertaining display to push Wakefield Trinity close before slipping to a 30-26 defeat in their latest friendly last Sunday.
Wakefield fielded 12 of their Under-19s squad but it proved a useful workout for both sides and Glenn Morrison admitted that he may utilise some of those on show as part of a dual registration between the clubs in 2017.
Dewsbury started slowly and found themselves 16-0 down before battling back well.
Half-back Andy Kain returned to the side having missed the Boxing Day game at Batley and his neat kick looked to have given Hamish Barnes an open the scoring after two minutes only for the centre to drop the ball.
Wakefield moved swiftly to the other end of the field and scored on the next set as Jacob Miller’s grubber kick was grounded by Elliot Caine, although Miller was unable to convert.
Miller and Christan Ackroyd linked for James Batchelor to score after 12 minutes and Miller converted.
The Rams defence failed to deal with Ackroyd’s long kick and Batchelor reacted to gather and grab his second try, with Miller’s conversion putting Trinity 16-0 ahead.
Dewsbury upped the tempo and a neat break by Paul Sykes set up a move which ended with Dale Morton scoring an unconverted try out wide.
Soon after a lovely move involving ex-Trinity man Sykes and Kain created space to send close season signing Barnes through for his first try for the Rams. Sykes converted to reduce the deficit to 16-10.
The entertaining first half continued with both sides creating further chances and Brad Foster forced his way over for Dewsbury but was held up over the line.
Dewsbury were attacking at the start of the second half but Caine intercepted a pass and stormed 80 metres for a terrific solo try. Astley Gibson was unable to convert.
The Rams again responded well and a well-timed Sykes pass sent Jason Crookes over for a 49th minute try which Sykes improved as Dewsbury pulled back to 20-16.
Sam Blake showed alertness to dart over from acting half-back on the hour and Batchelor tagged on the extras.
Batchelor then gathered another fine pass from Ackroyd to complete his hat-trick and although he was unable to convert, Trinity led 30-16 before a late Rams fight back.
Gareth Potts gathered a pass to score at the right corner and Sykes landed a terrific touchline goal to set up a pulsating finish.
Dewsbury launched another attack two minutes from time and Potts was on the end of the sweeping move to score his third try in two games.
Sykes was unable to land the difficult conversion and Dewsbury ran out of time but they had given a good account of themselves and with players to return from injury, they are moving in the right direction ahead of the new season.