A JOE Earp hat-trick of tries meant Yarnbury suffered their third consecutive Yorkshire Two defeat after being downed 30-27 at the hands of Wath Upon Dearne.

The Horsforth based side have been reduced to a shortage of muscle in the pack for the last few weeks and have been struggling at set pieces and scrummaging, leading to close losses.

Yarnbury opened the scoring eight minutes in after fast passing got Jack Brown over down the left.

Second row Luke Stead responded by going over the whitewash, although the conversion was missed.

Wath took charge for the remainder of the half and scored another pushover try through Earp, who was impressive throughout leading by example.

Prop Joe Lazenby extended the away side's lead from close in, diving over the line.

The only positive sign for Yarnbury in the first period was half breaks from returning wing Josh Bateson who had the pace to trouble his opponents.

The hosts looked vulnerable at set pieces and lost second row Ian Maycock with a dead leg to deter their forward penetration.

However with the difference only standing at 10 points, Yarnbury were still in this game.

The 10th-placed side were against the elements after the break but did cut the deficit by two points with Jack Whitlam's penalty.

The away lead was again reduced when scrum half Cam Newby scuttled over for an unconverted try.

Brown was on the end of a fine cross field move to score out left but could not convert to bring Yarnbury closer to their visitors lead.

The pair exchanged tries, firstly Earp touched down for his second before replacement wing forward Les Crowther scored to mean that the difference was back to a point.

With Wath rattled the Yarnbury forwards made ground for the final run in, made by the returned second row Ian Maycock using his strength and commitment to cross the line and give the home side a four point advantage.

However, the hosts could not hold out, succumbing to the eighth-placed team's pack pressure and Earp gained his third try to earn his side the valuable win.

Yarnbury will hope they can halt their losing run when they travel to league leaders Roundhegians in a fortnights time.