Sheffield Eagles’ hopes of taking their first ever Championship shield hang by a thread after a 40-24 defeat by rivals Featherstone Rovers.
Featherstone have taken over top spot on points scored difference with a try in the final 20 seconds.
Even a win at Doncaster on Sunday will not be enough for Eagles if Rovers win at Hunslet.
A barrage of high kicks from Liam Finn put the Eagles under pressure and they were blitzed by a rush of tries in the second half.
Eagles went behind after 90 seconds with Finn’s kick bouncing off a Sheffield player to Tim Spears to score. Finn added the goal.
Eagles got their first points with a penalty kicked by Dominic Brambani and took the lead with Michael Knowles picking up his own chip kick for the try.
Brambani added the goal.
Quentin Laulu-Togagae i increased the lead.
B ut a try by Matt Jones and Finn’s kick levelled the score at 12-12.
Rovers took back the lead after the restart with Jonny Hepworth going in at the corner and Finn adding the goal.
Rovers went in for the kill with tries from Andy Kain, Ian Hardman and James Lockwood and Finn converting two.
Eagles battled back with a second try for Laulu-Togagae and Matt Garside forcing his way over.
Brambani’s goals cut the margin to the vital 12 points.
Hopes of a bonus point were dashed with a try by Will Sharp in the final minute and Finn kicked his sixth goal.
Rovers: Hepworth; Sharp, Mellars, Hardman, Saxton; Kain, Finn; Crossley, Bussey, Bryan, Lockwood, Spears, Dale. Subs: Ellis, Bostock, James, Barlow.
Tries: Spears 2, James 39, Hepworth 46, Kain 53, Hardman 60, Sharp 80.
Goals: Finn 6/7.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Finigan, Yere, Armstrong, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Battye, Henderson, Green, Knowles, Szostak, Hirst. Subs: Davey, Garside, Roche, Higgins.
Tries: Knowles 18, Laulu-Togagae 27, 68, Garside 75.
Goals: Brambani 4/ 5.
Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow.