RESURGENT York RUFC moved up to seventh in Yorkshire One with a 23-12 victory over indisciplined visitors Pontefract.
The home side have turned their season around in recent weeks and this was their fourth successive victory, with three league wins plus progress in the Yorkshire Shield.
They were given a helping hand by Pontefract on Saturday as the visitors were shown four yellow cards at Clifton Park.
The game started well for York as they piled on the pressure in midfield and Pontefract were caught offside. After a kick to the corner and a catch and drive from the resulting lineout, York were brought down just short of the line.
However, Ponte strayed offside again and were penalised on the five-metre line. A quick tap by prop Darren Rutherford brought him the opening try of the game on four minutes.
From the restart, a York error presented Pontefract with a penalty. After defending the catch and drive in the corner, the hosts were caught offside in front of their own posts and Ponte took the chance to make it 5-3.
York’s indiscipline around the breakdown and in their midfield defence saw them concede eight penalties in the first 17 minutes, allowing Pontefract to build up field position.
Captain Chris Fox infringed in front of his own posts 22 metres out and Pontefract took the lead.
Ponte then conceded a penalty on their own 22 for holding on in the tackle from the restart. Peter Martin kicked for the corner and this time the catch and drive move created an unconverted try for Steve Kerr.
York went close to improving their score, only for handling errors to let the Pontefract scrambling defence off the hook.
On 29 minutes, the third try came when Alex Nixon crossed after good work by the forwards and the strength of Aaron Thompson on the wing.
Despite Ponte losing two men to the sin-bin in the last ten minutes of the first half, York were unable to improve on their score.
As the game moved into the final quarter, Ponte improved their score by two further penalties either side of a Matt Hargreaves penalty for York, making it 18-12.
A third visiting player saw yellow as the game headed towards a tense finale. Good York defence kept Ponte out three minutes from time and a fourth player went into the sin-bin.
Gareth Singleton, Martin and Nixon then combined to move the ball upfield and Willem Enslin powered across the line for a try that secured the victory and a bonus point for the hosts, who missed all four conversion attempts.