A YOUTHFUL Heworth ARLC side pushed high-flying Underbank Rangers all the way in a 24-6 defeat in National Conference League division three.
The Villagers, who fielded seven youngsters, belied their lowly league position to provide a stiff test for second-placed Rangers.
The visitors were only 12-6 in arrears at the break and the final outcome would have been closer but for loose forward Jonny Payne being held up over the line once in each half without being able to get the ball down.
It looked ominous for the visitors when Underbank registered two tries in the opening ten minutes for second rower Sam Rochford and scrum-half Richard Pogson, with the latter adding both conversions.
After Payne's first disallowed effort on 23 minutes, Heworth were rewarded 11 minutes later when full-back Christian Pollock picked up a loose pass close to his own line and raced the full length of the field to cross under the posts for stand-off Danny Allan to add the extras.
The hosts, with the wind and slope in their favour, started the second period strongly and loose forward Nick Briggs went over after only three minutes and Pogson goaled.
The Black and Whites once again rallied and some tremendous scrambling defence frustrated their opponents.
The resistance was finally broken in the the 66th-minute when stand-off Michael Murphy nipped over under the sticks and Pogson kicked his fourth conversion to seal the match for the home side.
Allan gained the man of the match for the Villagers.
Meanwhile, York Acorn were 24-17 winners over Saddleworth Rangers in division one.