Thornhill Trojans produced a terrific fightback but ran out of time as they were edged out 20-16 by Hunslet Parkside in a gripping National Conference Division Three clash.
Thornhill trailed 20-0 going into the final quarter before battling back.
Luke Haigh returned to Thornhill having been released by Keighley Cougars, while Richard Bostock, Danny Ratcliffe and Joel Gibson were instrumental in the late comeback.
Bostock knocked-on over the try line early on before Hunslet took control .
From a tap penalty close to the Trojans line, Craig Miles collected the ball and ploughed over for a try, which Jamie Fields converted.
A high kick was misjudged as a Thornhill defender tried to clear it. Hunslet regained possession and Kieran Murphy ran the ball back to crash over, Fields converted.
Thornhill rallied briefly as Haigh appeared to have put Liam Morley over for a try between the posts but the referee judged the final pass had been forward.
Hunslet kicked to the in goal area and Danny Harris dived for the ball and, with outstretched fingertips, made contact and the try was awarded as the home team led 16-0 at the interval.
It didn’t look to be Thornhill’s day when a pass was intercepted and Luke O’Mally evaded several tacklers to go over for an unconverted try.
Any spectators who decided Thornhill were out of the game and left the ground, missed a remarkable fightback from the Trojans.
Bostock charged forward from a scrum and shook off several tacklers to break free and showed great determination to race over for an unconverted try.
Thornhill continued to battle and scored a wonderful try from 20 metres out.
Anthony Harris combined with Danny Ratcliffe to send the latter over at the side of the posts for a try and Joel Gibson converted.
Suddenly Thornhill were brimming with self belief.
As the minutes ticked towards full-time Hunslet lost the ball and Gibson picked it up and set off on a sprint.
Covering almost 80 metres Gibson demonstrated terrific pace to score a fantastic long range try which he converted.
Thornhill continued to battle but they just ran out of time as the referee’s whistle was greeted by relief from Parkside.
Thornhill, who slip to third place following their first defeat, entertain Gateshead Storm on Saturday.