Dewsbury Moor Maroons slipped to their first defeat since August as they went down 36-12 on their long trip to Askam in National Conference Division Two last Saturday.
Askam had recorded comfortable wins in both their opening games and the early signs are they will be pushing for promotion, although the Maroons travelled in confident mood after 16 straight wins.
Moor started strongly and had all the early possession down the slope.
They moved play wide with Kaye and Adamson link to create an overlap and send Max Vernon over for the first try in the corner. Aiden Ineson failed with the conversion but the Maroons led 4-0 after 10 minutes.
Askam bounced back and a determined attack saw them camped on Moor’s line for a couple of sets before finally stretching over for a converted try.
Moor responded well and Ineson levelled the scores with a penalty goal from 30 metres out.
The Maroons then lost their way and a 15 minute spell either side of half-time saw Askam score four unanswered tries to lead 28-6 with 25 minutes to go.
The Maroons were up against it but despite playing up the slope and against the elements, they piled on the pressure and forced a number of repeat sets.
The home defence finally succumbed and a short ball from Ineson saw Tom Harrington barge over from 10 metres out. Ineson converted and reduced the arrears to 28-12 with 10 minutes to go.
The comeback wasn’t to be as Askam finished the stronger with two late tries to condemn the Maroons to a first loss under coach James Delaney.
Man-of-the-match was captain Toby Richardson, who played out of position with an impressive 80 minutes at prop, there were also strong performances from Kaye, Harrington, Foster and Ashley Boddy.
Coach Delaney was upbeat in his summary of the game saying: “Late changes disrupted our preparation but the team we fielded was more than capable of getting the points, unfortunately there was too many players off the boil and away to the top teams in this league you don’t get away with not playing at 100 per cent.
“The unbeaten run had to end someday but we will now look to build another run.
“We played a team tipped to be champions, we were missing some big names and others weren’t at their best, the field was also very tight and suited the home team but I am confident on our day we can more than match them.”
n The young Maroons Alliance team made the short trip to Birstall Victoria for a pre-season friendly last Saturday when they recorded an impressive 54-10 victory.
Man-of-the-match was Jordan McNally, Kyle Fozzard bagged a hat-trick of tries and Brad Samme two, while there were strong performances from Scott Sheard and Joe Brook.
Coach Lee Hatfield said: “We fielded 20 players, the first team travelled with 18 and overall as a squad there were 10 absentees.
“It is great for the club and we are finally reaping the rewards of our successful junior set up.”
There are no games this weekend, but the first team return on April 7 with their first home game of the season against Crosfields, while the Alliance team are away in their first league game of the season.