Shaw Cross Sharks slipped to a 30-22 defeat to Thatto Heath Crusaders and are still aiming to get off the mark in National Conference Division One.
Despite suffering a second straight loss, there were positives for head coach Brett Turner to take.
It was a well contested game as two strong sides went up against each other on a cold afternoon at Leeds Road.
Thatto Heath took an early lead when the right centre charged through the defence and fed his supporting winger to score a converted try.
Shaw Cross responded well and Will Poching created space for Ryan Chalkley to score.
Crusaders scored again when a kick to the corner was spilled by Joe Halloran and the winger pounced for his second try, although the conversion attempt struck a post.
The Sharks hit back to level when Greg Wilby kicked to the corner and Ross Roebuck gathered well to score. Danny Flowers converted.
Thatto Heath took the lead following a 40/20. A decision that infuriated the Shaw Cross bench and Turner received a warning from the referee for his protests about the call.
Following the scrum a swift passing move saw Thatto score their third try to lead 16-10 at half-time.
The Sharks started the second half brightly and scored an outstanding try after 45 minutes.
Chalkley received the ball out on the wing and accelerated past the defence.
He found the supporting Ottewell who in turn sent Roebuck racing between the posts as they drew level.
Thatto Heath’s right winger scored his third try of the game after a passing exchange with his centre.
There was more frustration for Shaw Cross as the try stood despite claims of a forward pass.
Sharks again showed their resilience as they responded in perfect fashion with a try of their own soon after.
Ottewell did well to break into space and offload for Chalkley to score his second try and cap a brilliant individual performance.
The Sharks looked for a match winning converted try but couldn’t find a way through Thatto’s defence.
Crusaders sealed the win as they intercepted a pass to score in the final minute.
Turner was proud of his team and pleased with the determination shown, saying: “The performance was there but the result wasn’t. We need to start turning those performances into two points.”
“I’m very proud of how we played. I thought we matched them for most parts of the game. But we just need to start turning these performances into results.”
The Sharks will go in search of their first win of the season after the Easter break when they entertain high flying Milford Marlins on Saturday April 2.