INJURY-HIT Selby RUFC missed out on a third Yorkshire Shield final appearance in five years as they lost 36-33 at home to Scarborough.
A trio of key players struggling with knocks were risked in the Sandhill Lane semi-final and, despite a late flurry of points, the Swans were second best.
The crucial period of the match came midway through the first half when Scarborough claimed three converted tries in ten minutes.
The hosts started the stronger but they failed to turn their early pressure into points, and Scarborough were gifted the first try on 20 minutes.
A poor cross-field kick out of defence went straight to Scarborough winger Harry Domett, who raced over for a try converted by full-back Tom Ratcliffe.
Second row Phil Watson increased Scarborough's lead after some appalling attempted tackles from the Selby defence. Ratcliffe converted.
Centre Benji Cottle sprinted over on 29 minutes for Scarborough's third try, also converted by Ratcliffe for a 21-0 lead.
Selby reduced the arrears after 35 minutes after a great break by number eight Martin Protheroe, Selby's man of the match, and he recycled the ball for impressive centre Alex Arthur to cross. Fly-half Josh Cruise converted.
On the stroke of half-time, Selby were penalised for not rolling away and Ratcliffe kicked the penalty for a lead of 24-7.
Six minutes into the second period, Scarborough pressure resulted in a penalty try which Ratcliffe converted.
Selby at last found some rhythm and, after being held up twice over the Scarborough line, skipper Duncan Hardy touched down for a try after 53 minutes.
An excellent run by centre Charlton McCoy put substitute prop Ben Booth over for the line and Cruise converted.
The killer blow was dealt on 67 minutes after Scarborough took a scrum against the head on the Selby ten-metre line and Cottle crossed for his second try.
Another magnificent break by Protheroe enabled winger Ben Lunt to somehow manage to touch down in the corner and an excellent conversion by Cruise brought Selby to within ten points.
With ten minutes of added on time to play, Scarborough were feeling the pressure and they had two players yellow carded in the space of five minutes.
The pressure told with Ben Booth going over for his second try in the last play of the game and Cruise converting, but Selby agonisingly fell three points short.
Meanwhile, there was also knockout disappointment for York as they bowed out of the Northern Divisions Intermediate Cup.
The Clifton Parkers lost 26-18 in their quarter-final at Aspatria.
The Ryedale side are now second from bottom with 36 points, one behind Morpeth, who occupy the third relegation spot.
Middlesbrough are fourth from bottom with 39 points, meaning Malt's fate is not in their own hands heading into the final four games of the campaign.