IT was yet another case of deja vu for irritated Yorkshire Carnegie as they missed a glorious chance to end Doncaster Knights’ five-month unbeaten run in the Championship.
No side had defeated Clive Griffiths’ promotion-chasers in the league since Carnegie did so themselves with a 27-20 win at Headingley on October 9.
But after a free-flowing, exciting derby on Saturday, they were in a perfect position to complete a notable double over their South Yorkshire rivals and replace them in second spot.
Carnegie took a 28-27 lead after winger David Doherty’s second second-half try in the 71st minute at Castle Park, Doncaster’s Tyler Hotson having been yellow-carded moments earlier.
However, despite that man advantage, the visitors still managed to agonisingly succumb to a last-minute try from Knights captain Michael Hills and lose 34-28.
“There was two exits in the first half that gifted them 10 points,” said Redpath.
“One kick went straight out and another one we miscued but ultimately it’s about 80 minutes. They had a guy in the bin and we didn’t capitalise on that at the vital time.
“They had a lucky bounce for that try right at the death but there was two successive penalties before that which we didn’t need to give with them being down to 14 men. That’s probably the crux of it; we’d got back in it to lead 28-27 and a chance to manage the game and to win it but ultimately we didn’t. It’s not gone our way again.”
It was their seventh league loss and, frustratingly, all have come by just six points or less.
Ironically, though, having garnered two bonus points and seeing Bedford Blues lose 25-18 at home to Jersey, Carnegie actually moved up a place to third.
Jersey are now up to fifth, 12 points behind Redpath’s side, and 11 adrift of Bedford, as they look to gatecrash the top-four.
Carnegie host leaders Bristol in their next game on February 28 and he admitted: “The pressure is on us now. It’s not all gloom and gloom. We played some good stuff at times but I thought Doncaster played better than us throughout the game.”
Carnegie lost captain Chris Jones to a dead leg at half-time.
Winger Andy Bulumakau scored two sensational first-half tries for Doncaster with Simon Humberstone stepping over for a third to set up a 24-11 lead in the 47th minute.
However, Carnegie winger Seb Stegmann began the fightback immediately, Ryan Burrows having crashed over in the first half, before Doherty added his brace but Harry Leonard converted just once to add to his two earlier penalties and it meant determined Doncaster were still in touch.
Doncaster Knights: Jarvis (Humberstone 38); Bulumakau, Clark, Hurrrell, Tyson; Cusack, Heaney; List (Pasquali 63), Hunter (Stagg 73), Quigley (John 63), Challinor, Phelan (Hotson 63), Makaafi (Young 76), Hills, Shaw. Replacement unused: Field.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Holmes; Stegmann, Lucock (Hodgson 59), Casson (Forsyth 49), Doherty; Leonard, Pilgrim; Beech (Boyce 67), Nilsen, O’Donnell (Hooper 67), Schofield, Smith, Jones (Williams 40), Saull (C Walker 56), Burrows. Replacement unused: Graham.
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU).