Shaw Cross Sharks’ relegation from National Conference League Division One was confirmed after a 14-18 defeat at home to York Acorn.
Despite the end result, there were plenty of positives to take from a much more spirited and competitive performance in a game that could have gone either way.
The Sharks made a good start but it was Acorn who got the first try, when half-back Tom Elliott put a smart grubber into the left corner that sat perfectly for Callum Worthington to touch down.
The visitors were building momentum and they were soon in again, with the same man scoring in the place after a good passing move.
Neither try could be converted from the touchline but Acorn had taken an 8-0 lead following their bright start.
Shaw Cross responded positively though, and after Logan Stephenson’s deft kick forced a drop out, Adam Masson was the unlikely scorer on the left side when he went past the defender to find the line.
Paul March’s conversion attempt came back off the post, and soon after the Sharks player-coach was sent to the bin for a high tackle as the sides went into the break with York leading 8-4.
York made the brighter start to the second half and put strong pressure on the defence, which was finally beaten when Tom Hill drove inside and through to score a try converted by Joe Budd.
After another high shot March was shown a red card but the 12-man Sharks continued to show fight.
After a couple of missed chances Matthew Tebb went over from acting half-back and Ryan Chalkley’s conversion reduced the arrears to four points.
It didn’t remain that close for long, as Acorn bounced back with a move left that finished with Jordan Potter slipping in Worthington to complete his hat-trick.
Shaw Cross kept battling to the end, with Tebb going over again in the final action of the game but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat which saw their relegation confirmed.
n Batley Boys secured back-to-back Yorkshire Men’s League Premier Division titles after they earned a 44-16 victory over East Hull at Staincliffe last Saturday.
Victory saw Batley move two points clear second placed Bentley, who have finished their league programme.
The Boys visit Bramley Buffaloes on Saturday.