Sheffield Tigers maintained the status quo with a hard-earned 17-7 win over neighbours Sheffield at Abbeydale Park to extend their lead.
Sheffield, who spent the last ten minutes camped on Tigers’ line, were unlucky not to salvage a losing bonus point, and they have slipped out of the top three.
Tigers had gone ahead in the first four minutes with a penalty from former Sheffield player Mark Ireland at fly-half, and Ireland converted when scrum-half Ryan Holmes touched down for the first try five minutes before half-time.
Sheffield responded when winger Gareth Morley raced over for a try which was converted by full-back Joe Cribley, but Tigers restored the margin when winger Liam Wallace, another ex-Sheffield player, crossed for a try which Ireland converted, again from the touchline.
Hull ran out of time as they fought back from a half-time deficit against Stockport, eventually going down 29-24.
A poor first half saw them trail 29-5 with their only score coming through a Harvey Harding try, the scrum-half forcing his way through on 14 minutes.
Hull looked a different proposition in the second half and Josh Bragman got the ball rolling with a penalty.
Ben Toy soon touched down and Bragman added another penalty before Lee Birch scored their third try. Bragman added to the score and although they gain a losing bonus point, they will be disappointed to have missed out so narrowly after a courageous fightback.
Ilkley were left to reflect on a disappointing end to 2015 after a 10-6 home reverse by Lymm resulted in a fifth successive defeat.
Nine points separated the sides going into the game and Ilkley knew that success on their own turf would go a long way towards setting a platform for the new year. However, a tight game ensued and the hosts ultimately lost out to a cruel late blow.
A physical start put Ilkley on the front foot, only for turnover ball to cost them a penalty. They hit back with a kick of their own from Joe Rowntree and went on to dominate the half but just couldn’t break the line. A similar story unfolded after the interval but Lymm managed to sneak through for a converted try with only minutes remaining.
Ilkley pulled back a bonus point with a second Rowntree penalty but time ran out.
Ilkley’s defeat was capitalised on by Huddersfield YMCA, who climbed out of the bottom three courtesy of a narrow 32-31 victory over West Yorkshire rivals Cleckheaton.
The result, Cleckheaton’s fourth defeat in five games, leaves them second bottom and now seven points adrift of their vanquishers, who climb to fourth-bottom on 26 points.