Batley Bulldogs staged a late rally to sentence Doncaster to a sixth successive Championship defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Winger Wayne Reittie threw them a lifeline on 70 minutes when winning the race to a grubber kick to the corner to close the deficit to 14-10.
Cain Southernwood added the extras and then went over from acting-half after the outstanding Sam Brown had been held just short, to clinch a hard-earned victory three minutes from time.
It was a much-improved performance by Paul Cooke’s men who won’t come much closer than this without breaking their duck.
The Dons took the lead in the 20th minute when on-loan second-rower Jansin Turget celebrated his home debut with a try. The Hull FC forward found himself well placed to capitalise when Batley full-back Johnny Campbell failed to deal with an awkwardly bouncing ball from Cooke’s kick in his own 20.
Full-back Dave Scott added the extras and also kicked a 24th-minute penalty after Batley infringed on their own line under severe pressure from the Dons.
The Dons elected to run a kickable penalty on the half-hour and the gamble paid off as Mitch Clark forced his way over from close range. Scott’s conversion made it 14-0. Batley finally opened their account on 36 minutes, Brown, who had gone close a minute earlier, bursting over from close range near enough for Southernwood to convert before his late heroics.
Doncaster: Scott, Doherty, Welham, Gilbey, Naughton, Cooke, Kittrick, Carbutt, Kesik, Robinson, Turget, Snitch, Emmett. Subs: Spiers. Clark, Walton,Tyson-Wilson.
Batley: Campbell, Reittie, Bretherton, Squires, Ainscough, Southernwood, Nicholson, Hirst, Blake, Rowe, Scott, Mitchell, Chandler. Subs: Gledhill, Lillycrop, Brown, Fozard.
Referee: Tom Crashley (RFL).