Sheffield Eagles ended their stint at Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park in defeat after going down 22-38 to Dewsbury Rams.
Mark Aston’s side lacked the intensity which had seen them rack up impressive victories against Oldham and Workington in recent weeks, as Dewsbury took full advantage to move a step closer to joining the Eagles in the Championship Shield semi-finals.
The Eagles fell behind early as the visitors took advantage of a ragged start from Aston’s side. Despite suspicions of a forward pass in the build up, Scott Hale took full advantage of the good fortune after chasing his own grubber kick to score, with Tom Hemingway converting.
From the restart Dewsbury bagged a second try after a terrific break by Lucas Walshaw which was finished by Etu Uaisele. Hemingway missed the extras.
The home side were back in business on 12 minutes when Menzie Yere burrowed his way over the whitewash from close range, with Cory Aston adding the extras.
After withstanding a bout of Eagles pressure, Dewsbury pulled further clear when a sublime pass from Andy Kain was finished by Toby Adamson, and Shane Grady converted.
It was Kain again causing problems for the hosts when his pass on the inside three minutes later was finished by Aaron Brown, and Grady again converted to leave the Eagles adrift.
The Eagles were lacking a spark, but the returning Ryan Millar finally gave their performance some life with a brilliant individual try just past the half hour mark. After Jack Teanby spilled the ball, Millar profited producing a smart step before using his blistering pace to accelerate to the line, but Aston missed the conversion attempt.
It proved to be a false dawn for the hosts as Walshaw’s try just before half-time put Dewsbury firmly in command at the break.
Duane Straugheir was denied a try at the start of the second half after referee Mark Woodhead spotted a knock on in the build up much to the Eagles’ frustration.
Dewsbury increased their advantage to three scores through the boot of Grady, but the hosts were given a route back into the game just before the hour when Quentin Laulu-Togagae’s break was finished by Millar, and Aston converted from the sideline.
Grady again edged Dewsbury further clear with another penalty, but back came the Eagles with Aston scoring after chasing his own kick, before converting.
But any hopes of a grandstand finish were extinguished with Hemingway’s converted try in front of the posts, before the same player added further gloss with a penalty which saw skipper Steve Thorpe sent to the bin for dissent.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Millar, Yere, Straugheir, Worrincy; Aston, Jacks; Thorpe, Fozard, Margalet; Knowles, Wheeldon; James. Interchange: Minchella, Burns, Neal Mexico.
Scorers: Tries: Yere (12), Millar (33, 57), Aston (68) Goals: Aston 3/4
Dewsbury: Guzdek; Morton, Walshaw, Grady, Uaisele; Speakman, Kain; Groat, Hemingway, T. Adamson; Spicer, Hale, L. Adamson. Interchange: Conroy, Brown, Teanby, Tonks.
Scorers: Tries: Hale (3), Uaisele (4), T. Adamson (26), Brown (29), Walshaw (38), Hemingway (73) Goals: Hemingway 3/4, Grady 4/5
Referee: Mark Woodhead