INJURY-PLAGUED York went down 29-20 to North One East table-toppers Scarborough despite leading 12-0 at half-time.

George Davies, Rob Hodges and Lewis Hannibal claimed tries for the hosts and Jon Dawes kicked one conversion and a penalty at Clifton Park, but it was the Seadogs, who are targeting back-to-back promotions, that eventually prevailed.

York, having started the season so promisingly, have now slipped to 10th and victory over 11th-placed Cleckheaton on Saturday now looks increasingly important given the relegation picture.

York still had eight front-line players crocked for the derby fixture but tried to capitalise on the wind behind their backs in the first period.

After the visitors kicked off, they quickly gained possession and retained the ball well to put York under sustained pressure, but the home defence was sound and consistently frustrated Scarborough’s attack.

After eight minutes, York secured a turnover and ran the ball back over half-way to win a penalty, only for Dawes to fall short with his 50-yard, wind-assisted kick from 50 yards.

Scarborough continued to dominate the ball, however, York managed to secure possession on their 22, allowing Liam Hessay to clear beyond the half-way line.

The home side then went on the attack and put Scarborough under pressure.

After good work by the forwards, York’s backs subsequently showed good handling and straight running lines to put Davies in for the first try with Dawes missing the difficult touch-line conversion.

York, now buoyant, continued to dominate and Hessay was showing good tactical kicking skills to keep Scarborough pinned back in their own half.

Shane Goulding and Will Scholey also continually broke the line with some powerful running and Joe Simpson was tackling everything that moved.

On 25 minutes, there was more home joy as Goulding broke through the Scarborough line and passed for Hodges to score in the corner, with Dawes making no mistake with the conversion to give York their 12-0 advantage.

Hodges was unfortunately injured scoring, meaning ex-York City Knights rugby-league convert Ben Dent, who had been causing the Scarborough defence lots of problems with some intelligent running from centre, was moved to the wing, disrupting York’s attack just when they needed to score more points before turning into the wind.

After York had kicked off the second half, Scarborough immediately signalled their intent with Tom Ratcliffe kicking them into good field position.

On 45 minutes, a good move by Scarborough then put Aaron Wilson in for their first try with Ratcliffe adding the extras.

From the restart, York managed to secure possession with Goulding and Dent running strongly at the Scarborough defence and eventually forcing a penalty under the posts, which Dawes converted to make it 15-7.

But Scarborough started to dominate possession and field position thereafter, with a Ratcliffe penalty reducing the arrears to 15-10 and, moments later, the scores were level after a flowing move from the backs allowed Wilson to score again.

The conversion was missed but, undeterred, Ben Parker added a further try that was converted by Ratcliffe and, even though Scholey was putting in numerous big tackles to offer some resistance, the visitors forged 29-15 in front after Jonty Holloway’s converted 75th-minute try.

York finished strongly, however, with Hessay taking quick ball from Toby Atkin to step through the Scarborough line from half-way, only to be pulled down five metres short.

The Scarborough full-back received a strange yellow card and the York pack subsequently drove over for Hannibal to grab a consolation try with the conversion attempt thwarted by the wind.

Meanwhile, in Yorkshire One, Selby lost 34-19 at Middlesbrough and have slipped to third bottom. They now have a crucial game against bottom team Guisborough on Saturday.