Wheatley Hills suffered a 28-21 defeat in their rearranged North One East clash against Northern at Gosforth.
But a bonus point for losing by seven match points or less proved especially valuable for Wheatley, who despite their defeat moved up from fifth to fourth position in the league table ahead of Dinnington. The sides are level on league points but Wheatley have a better scoring record.
Northern, who went down 42-21 when the sides met at Doncaster last September, signalled their intentions when their former Sheffield fly-half Donal Collins slotted over a penalty goal after three minutes, but Wheatley’s own fly-half Owen Gillvray matched it 13 minutes later.
A second Gillvray penalty was the visitors’ only further first half score as Northern turned round 16-6 ahead.
The second half opened with more promise when Gillvray burst through to touch down for a try only two minutes after the restart, landing the conversion himself, and a penalty goal by Gillvray five minutes later saw Wheatley back on level terms at 16-16.
But Northern were soon back in front when they intercepted and their scrum-half Owen Clements ran through to score, and Wheatley gave the home side another soft try four minutes later, full-back Doug Patterson touching down for his second.
That would have meant Wheatley coming home empty handed but, as the game went into its last minute, the visitors took play back down field and left winger Matthew Shaw raced through to score in the corner. Gillvray missed the conversion, but Wheatley had at least salvaged something.
Bottom of the table Rossington Hornets lost narrowly 12-7 to hosts Hallamshire in Yorkshire Five.