Kirkby Lonsdale suffered a 21-14 defeat away at second-place Lymm on Saturday after being forced to make a late reshuffle.
Kirkby made the trip without second row Gareth Gore and first0choice half backs Ben Walker and Dave Barton, while Leandro Kwiczor picked up an injury during the warm up.
Unbeaten Lymm kicked off, down the slope, and they applied the early pressure but missed a kickable penalty.
Kirkby took play up to the home line and were awarded a scrum on the five metre line, they got a nudge on, picked up and fed Andre Potgieter, who was unstoppable, taking two defenders over the line with him to score his debut try for the first team.
Full back Ryan Terry converted to give Kirkby a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.
A catch and drive from a lineout by Lymm took them over for their first try, the conversion levelling things at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
With two minutes to go Kirkby handed the home side a gift of a try when a slightly lazy clearance kick was charged down and Lymm dropped on the ball to score, the conversion giving them a 14-7 half-time lead.
Another error at the start of the second half gave the home side a second soft try.
Kirkby were up a little flat when Lymm hacked on a loose ball down their left touchline which ran into the try zone and they won the race to the ball for a converted try which stretched their lead to 21-7 with only five minutes of the half played.
The Lymm prop was then yellow carded for a stamp on Stuart Storey as the hosts started to find it difficult to keep Kirkby at bay.
With hands back on the ball the Kirkby forwards took advantage and drove the excellent Matt Holyland over for a try mid way between the posts and Lymm’s right corner flag.
Into the wind it wasn’t an easy conversion but the losing bonus point was riding on it.
As Terry planted his non kicking right foot it slid away on the soft turf but he was able to maintain enough composure to keep his kicking foot on line and drill the ball between the posts to make the final score 21-14.