DESPITE slipping to their first defeat of the season, Ruthin demonstrated that they are genuine challengers for this season's WRU League Division One (North) title.

Hosts Pwllheli maintained their perfect start to the campaign courtesy of a 24-20 success, but Ruthin were right in the mix throughout and they gathered a losing bonus point from their efforts.

Wet conditions were a big feature of the match, with both sides in contention for the win right through to the final whistle.

The game was played at a fast moving pace from the start, with both of the teams keen to get points on the board.

Pwllheli managed to open the scoring after 10 minutes when Osian Parry Jones slotted over a penalty goal.

However, Ruthin weren't behind for long and four minutes later, Nathan Jones' successful penalty levelled things up.

The Blues were probing in Pwllheli’s 22 and after a lineout on the halfway line, full back Iestyn Davies broke through into the home side's 22 and offloaded for wing Gwion Richards to go over the whitewash.

Nathan Jones converted to make it 10-3 to Ruthin.

Within five minutes and the score was even again as Pwllheli centre Deio Brunelli got his side's first try, with Osian Parry converting.

Much of the last 15 minutes of the first half were spent with the home side defending against Ruthin’s attack, but the score remained at 10-10 at half-time.

Straight after the break, second row Geraint Parry ran through a number of Ruthin tackles to score Pwllheli's second try, with Osian Parry converting.

Once more, the Blues tried to even up the score and they did so on 50 minutes.

Number eight Sion Donnelly bagged the try and Nathan Jones' conversion saw the game back to all-square at 17-apiece.

Almost immediately, the home side then went back on the attack and Pwllheli second row Huw Williams placed the ball over the Blues' line for the next score.

Osian Parry's conversion stretched the lead out to seven points.

In the last 20 minutes, play became even more frantic as both sides tried to get a clear advantage.

With three minutes of normal play to go, the visitors reduced the deficit to four points with a penalty goal from Nathan Jones.

Despite Pwllheli going down to 14 men with a red card and play going well into injury time, the home sides defence held against a spirited Ruthin attack until the final whistle.