After a traumatic week and a winless November, Yorkshire Carnegie needed a victory to boost their spirits, but they were given a major fright by Aberavon in South Wales.
There were little signs of Carnegie having any trouble overhauling the Welsh outfit they had previously defeated 85-0 when three tries from Jonah Holmes and a fourth from David McIlwaine gave them a 24-0 lead after as many minutes.
However, the consecutive sin binnings of Charlie Beech and Chris Walker meant they played 20 minutes with a man less and that halted their momentum and handed the initiative to the home side.
Tries through their forward pack either side of half time gave the home side hope before a brilliant piece of finishing from winger Steff Andrews brought his side to within two points of the visitors.
Yorkshire finally got some possession in the Aberavon half after that and they crossed for the first try in the second half when replacement Josh Bainbridge spotted a gap and powered through from close range.
Georgiou missed the conversion from outwide, but Carnegie immediately went on the attack through Dan Tai from the re-start. Another score looked certain to come only for Andrews to pop up in midfield and intercept the ball on his own 22 and go the full length of the field to score. Damjanovic added the conversion to level the score at 29-29 with 10 minutes to go.
The visitors kept their composure and spread the ball wide for Holmes to score his fourth try.
Georgiou added the conversion but Aberavon refused to throw in the towel and kicked a penalty through Damjanovic with five minutes to go.
It was not until Tai crossed in the final minute that the result was secured and Georgiou kicked the conversion to make the final score 43-32, much to the relief of the visitors.
Forwards coach Tommy McGee, who took charge of the team for the trip to South Wales, will be hoping while it was not pretty, the joy of victory after two losses and a draw in November will be enough to lift his sides from the doldrums.
Aberavon: Harris, Corbiseiro (Thomas, 75), Jenkins, Evans, Andrews, Damjanovic, D Davies (Flynn, 71), White (Jenkins, 54), Harvey, Clatworthy (Hardy 76), Beard, Williams, Purnell, Bija (Tomalin-Reeves, 58) (L Davies, 73), Dudley-Jones, (Thomas, 28)
Yorkshire Carnegie: McIlwaine (Tai, 53), Goss, Vickerman, Lucock, Holmes, Georgiou, Pilgrim (Dudman, 60), Beech (Harris, 47), Nilsen (J Walker 60), Hill (Imiolek, 60), Beck, Smith (Casson, 53), Williams, C Walker, Burrows (Bainbridge, 47)
Referee: O’Connell (IRFU)