An understrength Scarborough Pirates side produced a superb performance to grab a fine 28-10 win at Birstall Victoria.
Playing with just one sub, the Pirates showed immense amounts of grit and determination to keep themselves at the top of the Yorkshire Group A.
Coach Adam Lee was delighted with his side. He said: “We were playing a Birstall side away from home and they were the side we stole the title from last season.
“Things were made even worse when I could only get 14 men to travel as a lot were away on a stag do and many players committing to the second team.
“But we went anyway still feeling very positive and extremely optimistic.
“The main message put across was that we needed to keep the ball as much as we could and complete ours sets, be patient in attack rather than forcing it as I knew if we turned the ball over cheaply we would pay in the latter stages of the game.”
Tom Jenkinson opened the scoring with a lateral run to score in the corner on minutes, though the conversion was missed.
The Pirates carried on doing the basics until after a scrum, Jenkinson gave the ball to Regan Stirk, who was bundled into touch in his own 20.
Birstall player-coach and Irish international Brendan Sheridan then found his way over with a cheeky dummy.
There was another blow for the Pirates as they lost Sam Millward after 15 minutes with concussion, so on came their only sub Charles Battye, who went on the have a great game.
The first half saw four more tries, one more from Jenkinson two from Harry Sleep and one from Stirk, making the half-time score 28-4.
After the break the Pirates gave absolutely everything. Birstall came close several times but they could only find one more try on the 60th minutethrough Sheridan.
Lee added: “We showed why we have the best defence in the league, conceding an average of just averaging 12 points a gam.
“Harry sleep was his usual confident self under the high ball, rugby union star Matty Young was impressive on his debut earning plenty of praise from his fellow pirates,
“Billy Parker, playing out of position, was brilliant and the two wingers Stirk and Jenkinson were on top form,
“All in all it was the result of the season so far, a very hard-fought victory and some brilliant rugby played.
“Our completion rate was at 71 per cent, which was double from the week before. I’m a very proud coach.”