Nuneaton?s fourth win in five games kept alive hopes of bridging a ninepoint gulf to safety from relegation after a dour contest.
They featured three midweek signings --onecap Wales full-back Matt Cardey, late of Leeds, on the wing and two scrumhalves, Morne Jonkers from Weston-super-Mare and Paul Johnston from Kilmarnock.
Nuns hooker Stuart Gibson scored from a penalty line-out drive after five minutes, Gareth Cull converting from wide out. Good Wharfedale handling put centre Simon Horsfield over on 22 minutes.
The subsequent mudwrestling was never dirty but back-row forwards Ben Wade and Rob Baldwin, flanker Tim Prosser-Shaw, lock Matt Hunter, all of Wharfedale, and Gibson, of Nuns, were yellowcarded, all for foul play.