A much-improved performance from Dinnington almost brought its reward but a self-inflicted wound allowed Pontefract to snatch a 33-28 victory with the last play of the game.
After both sides had looked to gain ground with kicks in the opening minutes, Dinnington took the lead when Jonny West slotted over a penalty in the seventh minute after a penalty at a lineout.
Dinnington had a brief chance to go further ahead but a wayward pass ended a promising attack. Pontefract made their opponents pay for this by moving the ball wide from a lineout to go 7-3 ahead after 12 minutes.
Dinnington came straight back, benefitting from a Pontefract knock-on, and a quick tap at a penalty set up Neal Dunn to score under the posts. West converted to put Dinnington back in front and, after further pressure, a drop-goal soon afterwards put Dinnington six points clear. Things got better for Dinnington two minutes later when a successful kick and chase saw them steal possession and win a penalty in front of the posts. A kick for the corner set up a catch and drive to put Ryan Corker in.
Pontefract scored converted try in the corner. West kicked another penalty from an offence at the restart but Dinnington’s lead disappeared almost straight from the next restart as Pontefract drove over from a lineout to level the scores at 21-21.
But just before the break West charged down an attempted clearance kick and went over under the posts. He converted too to put Dinnington 28-21 up.
Dinnington kept Pontefract at arm’s length for 20 minutes of the second half but a quickly tapped penalty picked the lock, moving it wide they scored a try to go level.
Both sides went for the winning score but this only resulted in errors. Inside the last five minutes Pontefract put pressure on the Dinnington defence and thought they had scored only for the referee to bring play back for a knock-on. Dinnington won the scrum and only had to clear the ball to end the game. But they lost possession and Pontefract moved the ball along their backs to score in the corner with the last play.
Dinnington entertain Old Rishworthians tomorrow for the first time in 25 years, looking for victory to avoid dropping into the bottom two.