Dewsbury Rams suffered an agonising defeat away to Sheffield Eagles on Sunday as they slipped back towards the Betfred Championship relegation zone.
Defeat leaves the Rams just three points above Swinton and Rochdale with just two matches remaining before the season splits.
The fought back from 12 points down and almost snatched a share of the spoils but Paul Sykes was unable to convert a last gasp try from Michael Knowles which would have seen them draw level.
Sheffield struck first with an eighth minute try when Jon Magrin scooted through a gap in the Rams defence and over for the opening try which Cory Aston converted.
The Rams were not behind for long as good play down the middle had the Eagles on the back foot before the ball was flung wide for winger Dale Morton to race over and Sykes levelled with the conversion.
The Rams defence repelled a spell of Sheffield pressure and having moved play to the other end of the field, Daniel Igbinedion crossed to the left of the posts and Sykes converted.
The end to end game continued and Sheffield drew level with a 29th minute score as Matty Costello dived over from close range and Aston tagged on the goal from the right of the posts.
Three minutes before half -time Sheffield regained the lead as Matty Fozard spotted a gap in the Rams defence and nipped over for a try which Aston improved as the Eagles led 18-12 at the break.
Both sides had spells on attack early in the second half but defences remained on top until the Eagles bagged a crucial score.
The Rams were threatening close to the Sheffield line but Jake Spedding intercepted a pass from and ran almost the full length of the field to score a spectacular try. Aston added his fourth goal and Sheffield had a 12-point lead.
The Rams mounted a comeback and having taken play close, Dom Speakman stormed over for a try which Sykes improved to give them hope with 13 minutes remaining.
Three minutes later, the Rams were in again as new signing Adam Ryder barged through some weak Eagles tackling to score a brilliant try and Sykes converted to level at 24-24.
Aston missed with a penalty goal attempt which would have put Sheffield ahead but the Eagles grabbed a decisive 75th minute try when Jack Ashworth nipped through a gap and over to score, with Aston converting.
Dewsbury piled on the pressure in the closing stages and were rewarded when Michael Knowles powered his way past the Eagles defence to score.
Sykes had the chance to snatch a draw with the last kick of the game but was wide with the conversion attempt and the Rams left empty handed.