YORK RUFC produced a performance that could potentially change their season as they went to Bradford Salem and won 16-6 in Yorkshire One.
The Clifton Parkers, playing only their second game in five weeks, showed tremendous resolve - particularly late in the game - as they secured a morale-boosting victory.
York, playing with the slope in the first half, were on the defensive early on but cleared well. Marc Benson later broke 30 yards deep in the Salem half and, after the home side were penalised at the ruck, fly-half Liam Hessay had a chance to give the Shipton Road side the lead but squandered the opportunity.
He made amends five minutes later, though, his kick sailing between the posts from 35 yards.
York's lead didn't last long.
After a period of sustained Salem pressure, Danny Belcher levelled the scores after 25 minutes with a penalty of his own.
It looked ominous for head coach Lee Denham's men when they realised they would have to play the remaining 50 minutes with 14 men after prop Darren Rutherford was sent off for alleged stamping.
Will Norris came on at prop and York should have been under the cosh but excellent team spirit and tenacity saw them camped in the Salem half for the last ten minutes of the first period. Hessay gave them back the lead with another well-struck penalty and it was 6-3 at the break.
York spent the opening 20 minutes after the restart on the back foot but were energised by the introduction of flanker Josh Mortimer.
They repelled attack after attack and ran strongly into the Bradford defence with Benson, Mortimer and Chris Fox prominent.
They went 9-3 up against the run of play, Hessay striking a superb penalty from 30 yards, but Belcher subsequently found the posts again to make it 9-6.
Having capitulated in similar pressure situations this season, York's resolve was strong and they soaked up more Salem pressure.
A late scrum allowed Hessay to put a cross-field kick behind the Salem defence and Tom Newitt, following a quick kick, pounced on the loose ball to score the decisive try.
Hessay added the extras as York finished in style.
Pocklington pushed North 1 East leaders Doncaster Phoenix all the way at Castle Park before the home side pulled away in the final quarter to win 22-7.
Doncaster, with their nucleus of ex-Premiership and Championship stars, looked to spread the ball wide at every opportunity from the outset but Pocklington responded with some strong defence and made a couple of dangerous bursts up the middle.
It was still scoreless at the end of the first quarter when Pocklington lost centre Billy Hardy to the sin bin for a ruck offence. While they were down to 14 men, their Doncaster hosts took full advantage to run in two converted tries for 14 point lead.
Though they were being picked off at the lineout, Pocklington scrummaged strongly and when young number eight Joe Brown picked up at the base he rampaged 40 yards to score under the posts. Nathan Saltmer converted.
Saltmer saw a penalty fall short at the start of the second half and, for the next ten minutes, Pocklington camped deep in Doncaster territory without being able to turn pressure into points.
Doncaster lifted the siege and stretched their lead back to two scores with a penalty. Pocklington produced more sterling tackling but Doncaster's experience told in the end when they made the game safe with a catch and drive try in the dying minutes.
Selby were squeezed out by the narrowest margin against Hullensians at Sandhill Lane.
The Sandhill Laners picked up a bonus point and, despite the disappointment at losing 15-14, head coach Richard Nicholson's young side can take some pride from pushing their fourth placed opponents so close.
Selby led 14-12 with ten minutes to go but a penalty condemned to defeat. Old Crossleyans' heavy defeat at Malton & Norton, though, meant they did close the gap to their nearest league rivals to five points.