Shane Grady bagged a brace of tries on his return from injury as Dewsbury Rams earned a hard-fought 32-20 victory over Hunslet Hawks.
Although Rams coach Glenn Morrison described the display as below par, Dewsbury only need to win one of their remaining six Kingstone Press Championship Shield matches to be guaranteed a semi-final place.
Hunslet were without any of their Leeds Rhinos dual registration players but made a bright start and created some pressure in the opening 10 minutes.
It was Dewsbury who struck first, after 16 minutes, when Anthony Thackeray’s kick left was palmed back by Grady for winger Dale Morton to continue his terrific scoring run with his fifth try in the last four games.
Hunslet responded well and hit back with a try from hooker Jack Lee, with Simon Brown converting to put the Hawks ahead.
Grady marked his return from a lengthy injury lay-off with his first try of the match as he supported a brilliant 40 metre break from Luke Adamson to finish the move. Brad Delaney converted as the Rams led 10-6 at half-time.
Hunslet were proving a tough nut to crack and Lee crashed over for his second try eight minutes after the interval, with Brown converting and then adding a penalty soon after.
Dewsbury needed a response and with talisman scrum-half Thackeray pulling the strings, they struck with four unanswered tries to take control.
Thackeray’s lovely short pass sent Grady crashing over for his second try to level matters at 14-14.
Scott Hale latched onto another neat Thackeray pass to stride away for a 63rd minute try which Delaney converted.
Thackeray was involved again moments later as another sweeping move saw him link with Aaron Brown before full-back Ryan Fieldhouse finished it off with his 100th career try.
Delaney tagged on the goal and the Rams had turned the game around to lead 26-14.
The Rams bagged a fourth second half try when winger Dalton Grant was on the end of another fine passing move to cross.
Delaney landed his fourth conversion from six attempts as the Rams ensured a first Shield victory.
Danny Maun grabbed a last-minute consolation try for Hunslet but it wasn’t enough to prevent Dewsbury maintaining the pressure on leaders Featherstone.