Bottom-of-the-table Doncaster were left feeling bitter after going agonisingly close to their first victory of 2015 against high-flying Dewsbury Rams at the Tetley’s Stadium.
They looked all set to level the scores at 10-10 with the simple conversion to come when Australian prop Mat Groat charged over the line three minutes from time only for the try to be disallowed for not grounding the ball.
Fourth-placed Rams rode their luck and made sure of victory with a last-minute unconverted try.
Coach Glenn Morrison conceded that the Dons ‘had wanted it more’ on the day and their efforts would surely have secured them their first win of 2015 had they shown more composure in the Dewsbury 20.
The Dons handling let them down on a number of occasions when there was the chance of a try.
The prospect of the Dons beating their bogey team for the first time since 2008 weren’t helped by the fact that they were forced to play two hookers at half-back - against one of the best pairings in the division – with Kyle Kesik taking on the tactical kicking role.
But, to a man, they rose to the challenge and gave it their all for the full 80 minutes.
Centre Liam Welham, in particular, deserves special mention for the way he kept the giant Karl Pryce quiet.
The home side wasted no time in capitalising on their numerical advantage after Mike Emmett had been sin-binned, and second-rower Scott Hale crossed from close range for a try converted by Brett Seymour.
The Dons had a try disallowed for a marginal forward pass on 24 minutes before full-back Dave Scott, who added the extras, made the running for second-rower Jansin Turget’s 33rd minute try.
Cunningham showed good pace to get back to nail Thackeray after Rams had broken from deep in their own half after latching on to a dropped ball.
Scott was nailed just short after from a quick dart in the third quarter.
A combination of Doncaster’s scrambling defence and poor execution denied Dewsbury a try from an overlap on their right flank.
Turget just failed to get a touch to an astute grubber kick by Kesik before the ball ran dead.
Winger Dale Morton broke the deadlock on 64 minutes when beating a couple of defenders close to the line before diving over in the corner to make it 10-6.
Dewsbury: Fieldhouse; Morton,Crookes, Pryce, Grant, Seymour, Thackeray; Haggarty, Wildie, Hepworth, Spicer, Hale,Adamson. Subs: Conroy, Farrell, Smith, Aizue.
Dons: Scott; Doherty, Welham,Gilbey, Fox; Kesik, Cunningham; Groat,Emmett, Clark, Kelly,Turget, Dunn. Subs: Spiers, Carbutt, Foster, Sanderson.
Referee: Colin Leatherbarrow.