THORNENSIANS’ blistering run of wins came to an end but they built new bridges with York Railway Institute in a hard fought contest.
Controversy marred the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
But it seems past incidents have been put to bed following a highly competitive clash played in the best spirit.
York returned home from Coulman Road with the win as Thorne seemed off colour.
The absence of three back row players along with the skipper and Russell and Crookes hurt Thorne who slipped to a 27-20 loss.
Neither side started well, perhaps affected by the emotion surrounding the clash following the early season controversy.
York established a 17-3 lead by the break as missed tackles and an absence of the usual Thorne passion took their toll.
Adam Smith, Scott Berry and Mike Roodt were the notable exceptions in the forwad ranks, standing up well to the bigger York pack.
The scrum was constantly under pressure but Anthony Bull was superb in line outs to provide good possession.
An early unconverted York try out on the wing put them ahead before a successful kick at goal following a second touch down increased the margin.
Thorne chose not to kick for goal from penalties for much of the first half but Cox to land one late on after York had added another try.
A changed Thorne side emerged for the second half and took the game to their visitors.
Centre Luke Marsden scored a good try before Gaz Sutton added a second which was converted to bring the margin back to just five points.
But the Thorne fightback was quelled when York were gifted a converted try following a poor line out decision from the hosts.
Storming prop Roodt charged for the line with fellow front row man Gareth Stent capping the move with a try.
Thorne played the last section of the match a man down after Smith let his passion get the best of him and was yellow carded.
But they prevented York from widening the gap further and the match finished 27-20.
Thorne travel to Northallerton on Saturday while the Merit XV make the short trip to Goole.