YORK RUFC came agonisingly close to a positive result at Macclesfield in Northern Premier, falling to a 22-21 defeat.

The Clifton Park outfit led 13-0 until first-half injury time before the hosts battled back.

York currently sit eighth with three defeats - all on the road - improved by two home wins.

In the early stages, York dominated territory and possession, and winger Sam Taylor crossed from a good chip kick from Declan Cusack, who improved the score.

York were now in full cry and had the 14-man hosts stretched - so much so that their number six was red-carded for a high tackle.

In the 38th minute, Cusack added a penalty following a scrum before adding another from 45m.

But in first-half injury time, Macclesfield found a penalty touch within the York 22 and established a strong rolling maul to score an unconverted try in the corner - not the first time this season York have succumbed to the rolling maul.

After the restart, scrum-half Toby Atkin scampered over for an unconverted score near the corner.

But when York were penalised for offside, the home side went for the corner. The inevitable rolling maul was held but, by spreading the ball from that dominant position, Macc drove over near the posts for a converted try.

York were now under real pressure and although a good tactical kick from Cusack saw the home defence knock on, at the resulting scrum, York were penalised and the pressure resumed.

Another penalty followed and Macc again went into the corner. From the rolling maul, prop Wilman drove over for another seven-pointer.

With 20 minutes to go, York won a penalty which Cusack put over to retake the lead.

York were being penalised fairly regularly as the game approached the final quarter of an hour and, after failing to get back 10m after one such award, Cusack took a team sin-bin and the hosts put over the winning penalty.

Pocklington battled to a 20-8 home win over Scarborough in atrocious conditions at Feathers Field in North One East.

Cold and constant rain saw numerous handling errors but Pocklington stuck to their task in a contest where the result was in the melting pot until home side sealed it with their second try from the last move of the day.

Co-captain Christian Pollock, who grew up a stone’s throw from Scarborough’s ground, grabbed the headlines with four goal successes from four attempts, in addition to applying the coup de grace with a last-gasp try.

But Pocklington’s success was earned by a hard-working team display, epitomised by Josh Papa who ran himself into the ground in the second row.

Despite a yellow card for a deliberate knock, which thwarted a promising home attack, Scarborough took the lead with a straightforward penalty in the 23rd minute by Tom Harrison.

Pock took play to the other end and won a penalty in front of the posts, from where they shunted the Scarborough eight over their own line for scrum-half David Davison to get the pushover try. Pollock converted for a 7-3 lead after half an hour.

The hosts had more of the play in the second period, but dropped passes in the wet as play see-sawed between the 22s without either really threatening a score.

Scarborough were penalised with 17 minutes to go and Pollock extended Pock’s lead with a monster 43m penalty.

Within three minutes, Scarborough were back in it. A dangerous raid set up an attacking position, and a diagonal kick to the corner brought a touchdown wide out for wing Tom Makin. The difficult conversion, which would have brought the scores level, missed.

A Pocklington pack surge ended with them being penalised a foot from the Scarborough line, but Pocklington were making some key turnovers and promptly set up another Pollock penalty success.

And Pock made sure of the win in dramatic fashion in the dying seconds. Scarborough tried to run it out of their own territory and prop Euan Walker got over the ball to force a penalty for holding on. Pollock - who seems to revel in the unexpected - took a quick tap near halfway, weaved through the initial traffic, burst clear down the touchline and stretched out of the tackle to score before getting up to nail the conversion to the sound of the final whistle.

Pock travel to Morley on Saturday.

Malton & Norton failed to build on the other week’s thumping of Bradford & Bingley as they fell to a 25-14 defeat at Morley.

The Gannock outfit sit comfortably mid-table in the 14-team North One East table, seventh-placed with 14 points after five games.

After the balmy September weather, the cold and wet at Morley seemed to shock Malt and, despite second-half pressure, their handling was short of what they can do.

A much-changed outfit took to the field at Scatcherd Lane, with the added handicap of the withdrawal of key midfielder Tom Foan during the warm-up, leaving only two subs.

Morley showed early intent, their backs dominating the ball, while Malton felt they were being harshly penalised for not rolling away despite being trapped.

A high penalty count was made no better when Malton lost Ali Fothergill to a yellow card for a chest-high tackle riding up to the head area.

This was further compounded by poor kicking out of hand, failure to find touch, and putting the ball out on the full from drop-out.

Morley slotted over two penalties within the opening eight minutes and added tries in the 25th, 31st and 40th minutes, with two conversions.

Malton had a purple patch in the final 10 minutes of the half, however intense pressure failed to produce a visit to the hosts’ whitewash.

In truth, with Morley’s possession and territory, Malton were fortunate to finish the half only 25 points down due to their dogged defence.

Malton’s eight were transformed in the second half and competed with vigour, spending large periods camped in Morley territory.

The worsening weather was not helpful and cold hands coupled with over ambitious kick passing contributed to the failure to convert the pressure into points.

Malton’s forwards stuck to the task and were rewarded with a converted try from Will Hughes on 52 minutes wide out after a Morley yellow.

Further pressure yielded little reward during the next 20 minutes but, on 70 and 71 minutes, Morley’s numbers three and 10 picked up a yellow card each.

Malton should have capitalised at this stage but Morley held firm at scrum time when a straight eight-man shove from the visitors on successive scrums should have resulted in a score from a set move or, arguably, a visit by the referee to a spot under the crossbar.

On 78 minutes, Paul Angus was shown a yellow for minor scuffling. Despite this, Malton scored a seven-pointer through substitute Matt Clarke, the extras belted over by James Bulmer.

A losing bonus point was there for the taking but poor decision making when Malton had two extra men for 10 minutes was decisive.

Malt have this Saturday to regroup before hosting a derby against Pocklington on October 16.

Selby lost 16-11 at home to Yorkshire One leaders Old Crossleyans. The third-placed Swans will look to recover on Saturday at ninth-placed Beverley.

Yorkshire Four North West leaders Nestle Rowntree lost 15-0 at Leeds Medics & Dentists with another changed side due to injuries.

Trees were hoping their strong pack would dominate the contest but Medics matched them all the way.

After a bright start, Trees backs seemed on top but the Medics tight defence too easily held them at bay.

When they got their own backs in motion, they scored in the corner after 10 minutes.

Trees’ efforts were getting them nowhere and after 20 minutes, they fell 10-0 down as Medics backs again ran the ball to score.

After a purple patch for the visitors, Medics took total control of the second half and only a solid Trees defence held them to one score out wide on 65 minutes.

Trees have no game at the weekend which should give their ailing side time to recover.

Table-mates York RI lost 13-7 at home to Aireborough. They travel to Leeds Medics & Dentists on Saturday.