UNSHAKEABLE team spirit is dragging York RUFC up the Yorkshire One table after an inconsistent start to the season, according to head coach Sean Bass.

The Clifton Parkers lost six of their first nine games as they struggled in the lower reaches of the table, but they have turned it round with back-to-back league wins coupled with progress in the Yorkshire Shield.

Victory at home to Pontefract tomorrow could move them up four places to fifth, which Bass believes will go some way to erasing the frustrations of the first two months of the season.

“We’ve been a bit up and down,” he said.

“We started off struggling, but we have managed to regather and have got the players on the park that we want on the park.

“We’ve got a lot more collective spirit in the ranks and our captain, Chris Fox, has been a big part of that.

“He has struggled to play in the first part of the season because of work, but he is back and is a big asset to us. He brings the team together.

“We have had a bit of an injury-plagued start to the season, but players like Andy Kay have come to the fore for us, pulling the team together, and we have started to pick up.”

Bass is still irked by a number of close defeats, notably a 10-7 reverse against Bridlington and a 16-13 defeat to Wath-on-Dearne, both at Clifton Park.

He said: “What is annoying is that we lost to Bridlington and Wath when we should have won. That is eight points that would have pushed us well up the table.

“We also went to Huddersfield YMCA and should have got something out of the game, but didn’t.

“It is frustrating and annoying for me and the team.”

Hot on the heels of the Ponte fixture is a home tie against Bridlington in round two of the Yorkshire Shield on December 1, but Bass is refusing to look too far ahead.

“We have always taken one game at a time,” he said. “We will focus on the next game and what squad we can get out.”

South African Willem Enslin is back in the squad to face Pontefract after missing last weekend’s win at Old Brodleians and Bass was full of praise for the “in-your-face” forward.

“We have got Willem fit and doing what he likes to do...running into people,” said the coach.

“He is someone the team follows.”

Half-back Aaron Thompson is also available and pushing for a starting role.