CHAMPIONS Wath, looked to have the stamina of a finely–tuned long distance runner, as they stretched a 100 per cent record for 21 matches.
But the long hard season has taken its toll and they slipped to their second consecutive defeat in losing 17-5 at home to second placed Baildon.
A squad of tired players missing six regulars, lined up at Moor Road to face a determined Baildon side who would outplay them in the sunshine.
Both sides demonstrated flowing rugby in the early stages but Wath struggled against a pacy Baildon back line who would produce all three of their tries.
The West Yorkshire side raced to a 10-0 lead before Wath pulled a try back five minutes from the break.
Hooker Josh Catlin swivelled out of a tackle to feed speedster Brett Small who squeezed over the line.
Joe Thompson missed the difficult conversion from near the touchline ensuring Small’s touch down would be their only score of the afternoon.
They had two tries disallowed in a tough second half, fatigue ensured they spent much of the period defending.
The effort was gallant however with Baildon restricted to a converted try.
Wath face their final league match of the season this weekend when they host Aireborough on Saturday.
They continue to fight on two fronts in the cup competition however.
Stocksbridge visited Moor Road midweek after the Times went to press , for the semi-final of the Gerry Roberts Trophy while Wath are also awaiting their semi final clash in the Yorkshire Silver Trophy.
Wath reached the final four of the Gerry Roberts Trophy with a 24-0 defeat of a strong Hemsworth side, avenging their defeat in last season’s final.
Steve Mason scored twice with Ashley Rothery and Earp, also touching down in the win while replacement Joe Thompson kicked two conversions.
Coach Dave Battersby was forced to pull on the number 10 shirt to help out the heavily depleted Development XV in a 39-15 victory at Knottingley.
The triumph saw Wath seal their second successive promotion with a second–placed finish behind Cleckheaton Seconds. The highlight of the match saw veteran winger Darren Cairns run the length of the field to score.
Third XV skipper James Dyson came into the side to play out of position at full back while 17-year-old winger Connor Powell scored a try on his first ever senior outing.