Ripon RUFC suffer agonising late defeat at home to league leaders Wath-Upon-Dearne
Trailing 21-6 at the interval, the Blues staged an excellent second-half fightback and edged into the lead, only to concede a penalty in the 43rd minute of the second period, which the visiting side kicked to snatch victory.
The first try of the afternoon took just three minutes to materialise and went to the visitors, who kicked the resulting conversion to take a 7-0 lead.
Bray narrowed the gap when he booted over a penalty, but Wath then ran in another touchdown to make it 12-3.
Another successful shot at goal by Bray kept Ripon in touch, though the away team kicked three of their own to pull 15 points clear by half-time.
The second period was a very different affair as the Blues produced a much-improved performance, but against the run of play, Wath scored another converted try to go 28-6 up.
It was at this point that Ripon set about getting themselves back into the contest.
Following some good work by Graham and Thompson, Evans appeared in space to feed Wray, who used his pace on the outside. Not an easy run in, but with some fancy footwork, the winger weaved through the opposition to touch down.
Bray’s Conversion was assisted by the woodwork and took the score to 28-13
Barker then powered across the try-line after Perez and Anderson had weakened the defence, with Bray again adding the extra two points for 28-20.
A Bray penalty reduced the deficit to five points before from a rehearsed move, Perez set for the crash ball and burst his way through the Watch defence to register Ripon’s third try and level the scores at 28-28.
Bray’s Conversion nudged Ripon in front for the first time with just five minutes to play.
But, there was to be a sting in the tail, and Wath snatched the spoils at the death when they landed another penalty chance.
The Blues are without a fixture this weekend after scheduled opponents Hullensians forfeited the Yorkshire Shield clash that was supposed to be taking place on Saturday.
The men from Mallorie Park return to action on October 14 when they visit Hemsworth.