Yarnbury 37 Knottingley 10
Yarnbury secured the five-point win they needed to keep the pressure on leaders Hullensians on a breezy afternoon at Brownberrie Lane.
The victory means they need two points from their remaining three matches to secure promotion and 11 to become champions.
With an RFU Senior Vase semi-final looming on the horizon it would have been easy for the players to have been distracted, but they stuck to their task.
They started in determined fashion with a well-worked try for the in-form Elis Gomersall after five minutes.
Quick ball down the left side saw the winger brush off the Knottingley tacklers to score an unconverted try. Yarnbury were then guilty of giving away penalties in their own half and one was kicked by Knottingley full back Jamie Milton to reduce the deficit.
Yarnbury were keen to run the ball and when Gomersall fielded a stray clearance kick he saw the opportunity to chip the ball inside for centre Jason Avison to win the race for the touchdown. Full back Jarrod Huss surprisingly missed the conversion.
Right winger Chris Flowers made several dangerous runs down the right as Knottingley tried in vain to clear their lines. Knottingley had come to compete and put the home side under pressure but good def-ence kept them out.
Yarnbury were forcing the play from the rucks and mauls and this tactic backfired when winger Nicky Beach drifted inside to pounce on a loose pass to score a try which Jamie Milton converting from under the posts. This was a wake-up call to the Horsforth side and once they had regained their focus they claimed a third try with a catch and drive for the line claimed by wing forward James Barrett.
Yarnbury had been on the back foot up to then in the second half due to some poor kicking after second row James Falgate was sin-binned. However the team defended their line well and Knottingley failed to capitalise. Normal service was resumed in the final ten minutes with a try for No8 Jimmy Cryan following another penalty against the visitors following a catch and drive at the line-out.
Finally, Yarnbury took quick ball from a penalty in the opponents’ half for Gomersall to get his second try which was impressively converted by centre Stephen Riley, who used his experience in the final quarter to work the lines and keep Knottingley on the defensive.