Doncaster Knights lost in agonising fashion to rivals Leeds but produced a dynamic performance that had the Castle Park faithful buzzing ahead of the club’s National One adventure.
Ryan Burrows’ try in added on time stole a barely merited 25-20 victory for Leeds in a thoroughly entertaining friendly.
The defeat was hard on a new-look Doncaster side who more than matched their Championship counterparts.
On this evidence, Knights can look forward to a productive season in National One.
It was the hosts that broke the deadlock after a scoreless opening 25 minutes, Tom Davies crashing over following a line-out with Paul Roberts adding the conversion.
Glynn Hughes reduced the deficit with a penalty before Jonah Holmes galloped over the line after spotting a gap in the Doncaster rearguard. Hughes converted but Roberts landed a successful penalty to bring the hosts deservedly level at 10-10 at the break.
Burrows went over for the visitors but the Knights refused to be ruffled and again fought back to level, this time Phil Eggleshaw finished things off after a quick break from Tyson Lewis.
Alex Lozowski’s penalty again edged Leeds in front but a superb late try from Paul Jarvis, latching onto Roberts’ kick, appeared to have won it for the Knights before Burrows nicked it at the death.
Knights’ overall display offered real hope that the club are well set to bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking.