Malton & Norton settled into the festive period with a 16-13 derby success at York on Saturday, much to the delight of coach Chris Creber.
The result leaves Malton planted in second in Yorkshire One heading into the break.
The time away from action will be a welcome bonus to Malton, who lost Ben Boothman to concussion on Saturday. Josh Heggie also picked up an ankle injury and captain Sam Triffitt limped off with a dead-leg.
Creber said: “It was another game where we didn’t turn our pressure into points, but we dug deep and pushed ourselves over the line.
“There was a lot of emotional effort put in the week before against Bradford & Bingley where we didn’t come away with the points, so it was a big ask for them to go out there again and give their all.
“It was made a lot harder by the fact we lost Ben after 15 minutes, Josh had to play on one leg and Sam went off with a dead-leg.
“We also weren’t helped by the fact that the referee played 53 minutes in the first half, which is a long time in a game of rugby.
“It was a tough day at the office for a lot of our lads.
“If you are going to be up there at the end of the season you need the lads to dig deep like that.
“The break comes at a good time for us now because we are not sure how bad Josh’s injury is and Ben is not allowed to play for three weeks because of the concussion.”
The action doesn’t stop over the Christmas period, as The Gannock hosts a Malton v Norton game on Boxing Day.
Creber will be encouraging his players to take it easy during the period, though he isn’t too worried.
“There is the match on Boxing Day, which we hope that the first team players don’t play in, but some always want to get involved,” he added.
“They are a dedicated bunch so you don’t have to say too much to them.
“It is always the case when it is going well and there is competition for places, people train hard and work harder.”
It won’t be the easiest of returns to action on January 9 when they entertain a strengthened Old Crossleyans team.
Creber said: “Since we played them last they have brought in three or four overseas players, so it will be a tough game to come back to.
“The good thing is the fact that we are at home. You don’t want to be going over there in January.”