Hemsworth continued their impressive record in local derbies this season as they came out on top 17-11 to end Knottingley’s seven-match unbeaten run in Yorkshire Division Three.
Knottingley could have closed the gap to one point on fourth-placed Hemsworth with another victory, but their visitors showed that they are continuing to improve and upset the odds following promotion last season.
Knottingley scored first when a number of strong runs from the outside backs resulted in fine try.
Hemsworth hit back when Jacob Bailey crashed over following good work by the forwards who were beginning to get on top.
But Knottingley showed why they had been unbeaten since early December as they dug in and took their chance to put points on the board with two penalties to lead 11-5 at half-time.
Hemsworth came out of the blocks in the second half and scored their second try through Bailey again following immense work by Louis Thompson and all the Hemsworth forwards.
With no conversion they remained a point behind and defences on both sides were then on top with no quarter given as the game swung from end to end.
However, Hemsworth managed to come up with the winning score following a sublime attacking move when young winger Evan Rowley showed touches of brilliance to turn defenders inside and out and gave a superb waited pass to send Ben Brailsford over in the corner. Joe Thompson capped a top individual performance by converting from the touchline.
It was a heart stopping end to the game as the referee played some 10 minutes added time. Knottingley threw the kitchen sink at Hemsworth, but they defended with spirit to hold on for the points in a good advert for local rugby watched by a large crowd. The match was sponsored by Yorkshire Bottle Solutions.