Dewsbury Rams slipped to a 40-34 defeat at Whitehaven as the Kingstone Press Championship play-off race took another twist last Sunday.
To score six tries away from home yet to only pick up a bonus points for their efforts will have been disheartening for a Rams side who must pick themselves up for another long trip to North Wales Crusaders this week.
The writing, for what would be a tough encounter, was on the wall inside the opening quarter when Haven full-back Tom Carr and winger Shaun Ainscough crossed for tries, which Cain Southernwood converted.
Leading scorer Anthony Thackeray replied with his 20th try of the season as the Rams hit back and Kieran Hyde added the goal.
Second row Shane Grady stormed over just three minutes later and Hyde’s conversion levelled at 12-12.
Craig Calvert scored Haven’s third try and although Dewsbury ended the first half on top they were unable to breech the Cumbrian defence.
Centre Karl Pryce continued his good form from the previous week’s win over Swinton when he cut through the defence and away for a cracking try and Hyde’s third conversion put the Rams 18-16 ahead.
Whitehaven’s response was immediate as they ran in three Southernwood converted tries in the space of just seven second half minutes as Calvert, Carr and Ainscough all grabbed their second scores of the match.
Dewsbury showed character to battle back and Sam Wood, who joined as the Rams first dual registration signing of the season in the build up to the match, crossed for a try on debut, with Hyde maintaining his conversion success rate.
Calvert dented Dewsbury’s comeback hopes with his hat-trick try, improved by Carr, but it was the Rams who finished strongest.
Scott Hale stormed over after 73 minutes and Hyde’s fifth goal gave the Rams hope.
Substitute Tommy Gallagher added his name to the scorers with an unconverted try two minutes from time but the Rams had to settle for a bonus point and the play-off race seems set to go down to the wire with three points separating Dewsbury in fifth from Workington in 10th place.