Match Report: Barnsley 3 Leeds United 2 - Conor Hourihane the hero for gutsy Reds in what could be his last appearance
Paul Heckinbottom's gutsy side came from behind and eventually went 3-1 in front through seemingly Aston Villa-bound Hourihane before a controversial penalty allowed Leeds a route back into the game.
However the Reds stood firm to grab the derby victory and are just four points off a play-off place, with Sheffield Wednesday in sixth.
It was a cracking first half at Oakwell, though one marred somewhat by sporadic crowd trouble at either end of the stadium following the opening goal.
That came after 18 minutes from Leeds, with former Reds loanee Chris Wood charging in to meet Pablo Hernandez's corner-kick before burying his 18th goal of the season from six yards.
Once the atmosphere had calmed Leeds looked every inch promotion chasers, with both Wood and Souleymane Doukara going close to doubling their lead.
The Reds gradually battled their way back into contention and, after Ryan Kent had been denied by experienced 'keeper Rob Green, levelled it just before half-time when Tom Bradshaw headed home a smart cross from equally diminutive fellow front-man Adam Armstrong.
There was a dramatic start to the second period when the Reds struck again. And what a goal it was.
Twenty-year-old Liverpool loanee Kent met a cross from Marley Watkins, then turned on a sixpence before drilling a brilliant low shot across 'keeper Rob Green and into the far corner of the net.
Incredibly, six minutes later it was 3-1.
This time Hourihane - heavily linked with Villa all week - took a short free-kick from Josh Scowen before curling home exquisitely from 25 yards.
A fast-paced second half continued with Leeds earning a penalty in the 67th minute courtesy of a handball from Marc Roberts which clearly happened outside the box. Referee Mike Dean didn't see it that way and Wood stepped up to make it 3-2 from the spot.
From there it was very much 'game on' again at a buzzing Oakwell.
Kemar Roofe went closest to levelling for the visitors late on, but the brave Reds hung on for a terrific victory.
Barnsley (4-4-2): Davies; Jones, MacDonald, Roberts, Bree; Watkins, Scowen, Hourihane, Kent; Bradshaw (Hammill, 76), Armstrong (Williams, 90).
Subs not used: Townsend, White, Jackson, Moncur, Payne.
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Green; Coyle, Bartley, Ayling, Berardi; Hernandez, Bridcutt (Dallas, 84); Roofe, Vieira (O'Kane, 58), Doukara; Wood.
Subs not used: Silvestri, Antonsson, Phillips, Denton, Mowatt.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).