YORK RUFC dropped to second in North One East after losing 34-24 at Huddersfield YMCA.

The visitors, though, will look back on the game as a win that maybe got away, having led 17-0 at one point, while their first-up tackling let them down somewhat.

York find themselves second, level on 33 points with new table-toppers Morpeth, third-placed Huddersfield and fourth-placed Scarborough.

With key players missing due to injury, York played the first half into the strong wind straight down the middle of the pitch. The YM knocked on from kick off, but York's front row struggled in the resultant scrum, setting the tone for the afternoon.

After seven minutes of home pressure, York won a penalty which scrum-half Toby Atkin took took quickly. The ball reached skipper Chris Fox to feed George Davies, who was held just short but saw Lewis Hannibal over. Jon Dawes' conversion attempt struck the upright.

York knocked on from the restart but York's good defence kept Huddersfield at bay while skilful probing at the other end saw York’s Rich Downey stopped just short.

After Daz Rutherford went off with a back injury, YM found themselves on the front foot and pounded away at the York line until skipper Fox was able to snaffle a loose ball and the hosts were penalised for a high tackle.

Liam Hessay found little distance with the kick but, directly from the resulting lineout, he made a 75-yard break for York's second try. The conversion just missed.

The restart was again spilled and YM resumed their driving attacks but lost a man to the bin for a high tackle, which eased the scrummage pressure slightly, and with a bit of ball there were instances when the York inside backs, Hessay, Sam Forbes and Davies looked very slick.

Following a grubber by Dawes, and some good handling, skipper Fox's pass sent Davies in to cross near the posts. Dawes was successful with the conversion to make it 17-0.

York were now playing some scintillating rugby but Huddersfield notched a vital try before the break to boost their morale and the visitors finished the half defending desperately.

Huddersfield started the second period with intent and, running straight and hard, pulled back another converted try after three minutes before concerted pressure over the next 20 minutes saw the YM go over.

The YM were cutting York’s defence to ribbons, with some very poor tackling helping the home side who eventually crossed near the corner for an unconverted try.

York’s backs, taking advantage of a morsel of possession, again showed their handling ability but, when the move broke down, YM crossed after another flowing movement.

With 10 minutes remaining, York benefited from a YM knock-on and enjoyed a good spell attacking, after which Atkin went over for a bonus-point try and Dawes converted to move within five points of their hosts.

York’s tails were up and they went looking for the comeback but a poor decision from a penalty saw them concede possession before York themselves infringe.

Huddersfield attacked, chipped forward and forced a lineout and, from five yards, YM forced their way over for another unconverted try.