Hinckley moved two points clear at the top of National Two North following a tight victory over Wharfedale in a weather-affected weekend.
The Midlands club battled past a spirited Dale outfit to stay at the summit of the division while Sale FC’s win over Blaydon means they are up to second in the table following the postponement of Tynedale’s clash with Stourbridge due to the wintery conditions that hit the country.
Elsewhere, South Leicester and Huddersfield secured narrow victories while Sheffield picked up a vital win away at Otley.
Sedgley Park v Leicester Lions and Macclesfield v Luctonians were also called off due to the weather.
Hinckley 20-17 Wharfedale
Hinckley recorded their eighth straight victory, but the league leaders were made to work for their latest win against bottom of the table Wharfedale.
Sam Driver scored a first half hat-trick for Hinckley as they showed a clinical edge to lead 15-0 at the break.
— Wharfedale RUFC (@wharfedalerufc) December 9, 2017
Dale got on the board 15 minutes into the second period as they were awarded a penalty try and that seemed to spark the visitors into life as Phil Woodhead smashed his way over to score.
Tom Barrett then nudged over a drop goal to put Dale in front for the first time in the contest, but Hinckley came back as they pounced on a sliced clearance which resulted in Mitchell Lamb snatching the win for the hosts.
Sale FC 54-12 Blaydon
Sale FC moved up to second in the National Two North standings as they outclassed Blaydon in an eight-try rout to record a comprehensive victory.
Two tries from Tom Alies as well as scores from Chris Owen, Gareth Rawlings, Andy Hughes, Dan Birchall and Arron Read punished Blaydon as the Manchester-based club moved into the top two following their seventh straight victory.
Blaydon’s tries came via Ryan Foreman and Keith Laughlin, but they failed to build on their win over Sheffield Tigers in Round 13.
South Leicester 21-20 Chester
South Leicester came from behind to beat Chester in a thrilling contest at Welford Road.
James Preston’s try helped put the visitors 7-0 ahead but South responded with a converted try of their own.
Kyle Joseph’s try and James Robbins’ penalty gave Chester a 17-7 lead at the break, but a second converted try for South brought them right back into the contest.
Robbins’ second penalty gave Chester a six-point cushion before South went over late on and Rickie Aley added the vital extras to clinch the win for the Midlands side.
Sheffield Tigers 33-36 Huddersfield
Huddersfield stretched their winning streak to five matches as Richie Piper once again scored a late try to complete a superb comeback against Sheffield Tigers.
Piper came up with the decisive score last weekend against Sedgley Park and he delivered with four minutes to go at Dore Moor to snatch the win for Field.
The Tigers scored through Thomas Coates, Gregg Mellor, Jamie Broadley and Henri Packard in an excellent first half from the hosts.
Adam Malthouse and Austen Thompson crossed for Huddersfield before the break, while Nick Sharpe’s brace and Piper’s late try clinched the game for the visitors, despite Mellor’s second score.
Otley 5-20 Sheffield
Steve Depledge kicked 10 points as Sheffield beat Otley to move to within two points of safety in National Two North.
A tight first half saw the visitors open up a 13-5 advantage thanks to two penalties from Depledge and a conversion following Sean Casey’s try while Max Johnson replied for Otley.
— John Ashton (@ickledot) December 9, 2017
Former Otley player Depledge ultimately put the seal on the win after the break when he converted a penalty try as Sheffield secured their second win on the spin.
Tynedale P-P Stourbridge
Sedgley Park P-P Leicester Lions
Macclesfield P-P Luctonians
Last week, Cinderford narrowed the gap at the top of the table to just one point following their bonus-point win, but they face a tough test of their promotion credentials in Round 14 of National Two South.
As we approach the halfway point of the season, there are just seven points separating the bottom five in National Two North meaning Round 14 is arguably the most crucial weekend in the season for teams looking to move away from danger.
After Coventry made it thirteen straight victories in National One last weekend, the league leaders now prepare to take on fourth placed Ampthill and District with the aim of strengthening their position at the top.
Hinckley eventually eased past Stourbridge in Round 13 to stay at the summit of National Two North.
George Chuter’s men have now won their last seven matches thanks to an excellent final quarter against Stour, who are now winless in four.
Hinckley remain level on points with second placed Tynedale as they battled to victory over a spirted Luctonians outfit while Sale FC are up to third in the division following a comprehensive win against Chester.
Sedgley Park lost ground with the frontrunners as a masterclass from Harry Davey helped Huddersfield to a victory over Matthew Bebbington’s side.
At the wrong end of the table, Wharfedale secured their second win of the campaign as they edged out South Leicester while a late try for Sheffield clinched victory against Leicester Lions.
Elsewhere, Otley picked up their first victory for nearly three months as they beat Macclesfield and Blaydon dramatically claimed victory over Sheffield Tigers meaning the bottom six are now separated by just seven points.
Stourbridge 0-35 Hinckley
Hinckley remained on top of National Two North thanks to a brilliant final 20 minutes against promotion rivals Stourbridge.
— Thomas Hames (@Thomas_Hames) December 2, 2017
The visitors were 7-0 up at half-time following a try from captain Alex Salt, but they had to wait until the final quarter of this match to make sure their seventh straight win was secured.
Ben Marshall’s try on 65 minutes opened the floodgates before Sam Driver and a brace from Callum Dacey sealed the victory for George Chuter’s men.
Luctonians 38-40 Tynedale
Tynedale are still level on points with league leaders Hinckley due to a narrow win in a pulsating game at Luctonians’ Mortimer Park.
A score from David Cook and tries by David Batty and Nicolas Cairns helped Tyne to a 21-17 half-time lead, with Guy Kirby and Sam Boxhall keeping the Lucts in the game.
Tries from Cook and James Spencer increased Tyne’s lead, but Luctonians staged an impressive fightback.
Frank Kelly and Joe White both touched down and a penalty try put Ryan Watkins’ side in front with a few minutes remaining, but Cairns’ late effort stole the victory for Tyne.
Chester 10-40 Sale FC
Sale FC continued their superb recent form with a bonus-point win over Chester.
The away side led 14-3 at half-time as Chris Mayor and Dan Birch went over while former Sale captain Liam McGovern landed a penalty for Chester.
But the visitors impressed after the interval as Mark Lawrence, Chris Owen and Andy Hughes all crossed for second-half scores.
Sale were also awarded a penalty try while Chester could only muster up a converted Kyle Joseph score as Jonathan Keep’s side made it six wins on the bounce.
Huddersfield 32-30 Sedgley Park
Richard Piper’s late try and Harry Davey’s conversion earned Huddersfield victory over Sedgley Park.
Sedge scored three tries the first period through Dan Maher (2) and Jamie Harrison, but they still trailed at the break as Davey converted his own try and landed four penalties to edge his side ahead.
— Huddersfield RUFC (@Huddersfield_RU) December 3, 2017
The impressive 18 year-old added to Field’s lead with another penalty after half-time, but a drop-goal and a penalty from Steve Collins as well as a score from Andy Riley put Sedge in front.
However, Davey was to be instrumental in Huddersfield wrestling the game back as his sixth penalty of the afternoon and conversion of Piper’s score clinched victory.
Wharfedale 28-25 South Leicester
Wharfedale battled to pull off an excellent and much needed win against South Leicester at the Avenue.
Tries from Oli Cicognini (2) and Adam Howard as well as 13 points from Tom Barrett’s boot sealed Dale’s first home victory of the campaign.
This was a tight loss for South, for whom Rickie Aley kicked 10 points.
Dan Ireland scored two first-half tries for the visitors and Patrick Marks crossed in the second period, but that wasn’t enough for the Midlands club who slipped to their fourth away defeat of the term.
Blaydon 36-34 Sheffield Tigers
A late James Cooney try helped Bladyon edge out Sheffield Tigers as northeast side secured their first win in five matches.
Blaydon led at the break thanks to Matt Thompson’s hat-trick and a score from Jack Appleton while Henri Packard and Jamie Broadley (2) crossed for the Tigers.
— Blaydon RFC (@BlaydonRFC) December 3, 2017
The visitors then shocked Blaydon after the restart as Packard, Pete Swatkins and Ryan Holmes all went over to put Sheffield 10 points in front.
But Blaydon hounded their opposition and their endeavour was rewarded as Rob Lenderyou’s try was followed by Cooney’s effort to snatch the win after indiscipline from the Tigers.
Sheffield 14-7 Leicester Lions
Sheffield left it late, but they recorded their second win of the National Two North campaign as they edged out Leicester Lions.
James Wise scored early in the second half for the hosts but the decisive moment in the match came right at the death as Lewis Bowman darted over to clinch the win after an excellent display of defensive work by the home side.
The win for Sheffield leaves them six points from safety with a game in hand while the Lions fell to their second defeat in a row.
Otley 23-17 Macclesfield
Otley secured their first win since September as they narrowly beat Macclesfield to pick up a vital victory at Cross Green.
Ben Smith’s penalty and an Alex Beaumont score saw the Yorkshire club edge a tight a tense second-half to condemn Macclesfield to their ninth defeat of the season.
The hosts shaded the first half as Tom O’Donnell and Karim Nasir went over, but Macc were very much in the contest following scores from Tom Mantell and Myles Hall.
Macc did go ahead through Lewis Barker’s penalty at the beginning of the second period, but the Blues couldn’t add to their total as Otley took a lead which they never relinquished.