Shaw Cross Sharks came out second best as they lost 30-34 in a close-fought game against Oulton Raiders on Saturday afternoon.
A sin-bin mid-way through the second half gave Oulton the edge as they scored two tries while the Sharks were down to 12 men.
Head coach Brett Turner was pleased with his side’s performance in what was a well-contested game and feels the team are moving in the right direction as they prepare for the upcoming season.
He said: “It’s disappointing to lose such a close game obviously but a few things have gone against us in the build-up to the game.
“We only had one sub on the bench all game, they had 19, 20 players so we were always going to tire for that last 20 minutes.
“I thought the lads had a real good go and I am really proud of them.
“We got a sin-bin, which was probably the right decision to be fair, but that had a big impact on the outcome but I’m happy, the lads got some big minutes under their belts today and that’s the main thing we want.”
It was Oulton who got the first try of the afternoon after stand-off Brad Cahill collected the ball five metres out and stepped around the tackle to score between the posts.
The Sharks weren’t behind for long as centre James Davies was instrumental for his side on the right flank.
Davies broke the line and fed Dec Naughton before Davies himself was put over by winger Nathan Wright.
Minutes later it was Wright’s turn to score as he refused to give up the chase on a grubber kick from stand-off Danny Flowers as he touched the ball down in the corner.
The hosts were unable to see out the rest of the half without conceding as Josh Murray went over for Oulton, scooping the ball out of dummy half and diving across the line to reduce the deficit.
Shaw Cross got off to the perfect start in the second half as Benjamin Spaven got his name on the scoresheet for the hosts.
The centre intercepted and raced a full 50 metres to score.
But it was the Raiders next to get over the whitewash as centre Aaron Bridge broke down the right wing and put the ball down in the corner.
Sharks full-back Sam Ottewell was sent to the sin-bin with 55 minutes played for a late tackle, allowing the visitors to sail into the lead, scoring two tries as they made the most of the extra man.
Oulton added another score minutes after Ottewell was motioned back on the field as prop Rob Stanley powered through the tackles to go underneath the posts.
Naughton replied for the Sharks after he was on the end of a lovely passing move, the number 9 went over the line to give his side hope with seven minutes remaining.
It proved to be the last points of the game as Oulton held out for the win. Shaw Cross’ next game will be against local rivals Dewsbury Celtic in a pre-season friendly on February 18.