Harrogate Pythons slipped to a fourth consecutive Yorkshire Three defeat when they went down 22-6 at home to fellow strugglers Leeds Medics & Dentists.
The result saw the visitors leapfrog Dan Bird’s team in the league standings, leaving the Station View outfit third-from-bottom of the pile.
The returning Joe Bentham got the Pythons on the front foot early on with some good kicking and, following a couple of attacking line-outs, a driving maul was held up over the try-line.
Soon afterwards, the hosts turned over a Medics scrum and went wide but Steve Kirkpatrick was bundled into touch just before he could touch down.
A great run from deep from Matt Halpinthen saw the Leeds side penalised at the breakdown and this time ‘Gate opted to kick at goal and Kirkpatrick converted for 3-0 in the 16th minute.
Almost immediately, the visitors hit back with a converted try under the posts to take a 7-3 lead.
Some powerful running from Nathan Wake, Dan Shortman and Josh Smith got the Pythons back into away territory, but they were all stopped in their track by some excellent tackling.
The hosts then lost a scrum against the head, and with their defensive line trying to reform, a Medics centre threw a dummy and then raced clean through for a second try.
Bird’s men pressed forward straight from the re-start and good work from Liam Kernoghan led to another penalty which Kirkpatrick kicked to make the half time score 12-6 in favour of the Leeds side.
‘Gate started the second half well with strong runs from Jon Pickard and Matt Leach, but when an attack broke down deep in Medics territory, the visitrors hacked clear into the home 22.
Full -back Halpin chased back and killed the ball but the Medics swarmed to the breakdown and turned the ball over, allowing one of their wingers to stroll over to extend the lead at 17-6 in the 42nd minute.
The Pythons piled on the pressure as they sought a way back into the contest, and although two visiting players were yellow-carded as they attempted to stem the tide, their defence remained solid and they eventually added a bonus-point try in the closing stages to seal their win.