Kieran Grzesiowski opened the scoring for the hosts and an own goal soon made it 2-0, but Tavern then raced into contention and struck three times to take the lead.
George Thompson levelled for the Uni team just before half-time, but there was still time for the away side to make it 4-3.
Crown added a fifth early in the second half only for Grzesiowski to fire in a penalty to bring the students back into the game.
The visitors then made it 6-4 but Uni refused to buckle and reduced the arrears through a scorching 20-yard shot from Michael Stables, with man of the match Grzesiowski also slamming in a shot from 20 yards to complete his hat-trick and make it 6-6 to set up a thrilling finale.
The home side then hammered in four goals in the final 10 minutes to secure the points, Grzesiowski hit his fourth to put Uni ahead and Thompson's second gave them some breathing space.
Ryan Smith's tap-in after fine approach play from Thompson put the Uni side 9-6 ahead, and Steven Frederiksen marked a cracking debut with a free-kick to complete the scoring, Tavern having two men sent off for dissent in injury-time to add to their woes.
The Tavern man of the match Dave Barber hammered in four goals and never stopped working throughout, with Dave Ledden and Jake Acton also on target for the visitors.
Leaders Ayton suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at Fylingdales Reserves.
Tom Wilde's header from a corner put the visitors in front in the first half, but Sam Bailey levelled for Fylingdales, slotting his shot into the corner after collecting a cross and taking two Ayton players on.
Fylingdales went ahead through their man of the match Taylor Humble, whose left-foot shot flew into the corner of the net to make it 2-1 at half-time.
Ayton rallied after the break but the home defence and keeper Dave Smith excelled to keep the leaders at bay and earn all three points for 'Dales.
Wilde was named as the Ayton man of the match for a strong performance.
Cayton hot-shot Harry Holden hit four goals as his side earned a 5-5 draw against Roscoes Bar at a muddy Oliver's Mount.
Sean Rowley put Bar in front, but Holden levelled with a header from a corner and Jon Best put the villagers in front with a 20-yard shot after a neat turn saw him beat two defenders.
Holden extended Cayton's lead but Bar hit back to make it 3-3, though Holden completed his hat-trick to restore Cayton's lead.
Roscoes hit back with two goals to take the lead and it took a late effort from Holden to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Striker Graeme Farrah hit a hat-trick for Roscoes with Tom Allen also on target, Farrah earning the man-of-the-match award for Lee Paterson's team, keeper David Pickard also pulling off some superb stops for the visitors.
The whole Cayton team shared the man-of-the-match award for the villagers, as they travelled to the Mount with a bare 11.