D0NCASTER dropped from second to fourth on points difference after crashing to a 34-6 defeat against third-placed Keighley at Cougar Park.
Only two points separated the two sides at half-time, but the home team finished worthy winners.
“I thought that we were unlucky to lose against them at home earlier in the season but I’ve no excuses about the result today,” said Dons’ boss Tony Miller.
“They seemed to want it more than we did and were better than us across the park.
“I was relatively happy at half-time despite the fact that we’d played down the slope in the first half.
“Even though they scored first in the second half to lead 14-6 I still thought that we were in the game.
“But they took us apart in the last 20 minutes. They looked stronger and I thought their energy levels were better than ours. Basically they did to us what we’ve been doing to other sides in recent weeks.
“Defensively we were a bit loose and we weren’t as sharp with the ball as we usually are.”
Despite picking up a number of injuries during the game, half-back Kyle Kesik suffering a broken nose early on and Jamie Bovill (groin) and Craig Robinson (foot) both failing to finish the game, Miller said that he would have preferred a game this weekend rather than having no fixture.
“You always want to get back out there and try and put things right as soon as possible,” he said.
“Instead we’ll have to focus our attention on the home game against Whitehaven on Sunday week.
“I’m obviously disappointed with today’s performance but I’m not going to panic over one defeat in view of how well we’ve been playing in recent weeks.”
n Match report: p43