Acorn 18 Milford Marlins 26
Acorn failed to make it back to back wins in the NCL FIRST DIVISION when going down to a disappointing 26- 18 home loss
York Acorn failed to make it back to back wins in the NCL FIRST DIVISION when going down to a disappointing 26- 18 home loss at the hands of Leeds based outfit Milford.
The gamebreaker came on 52mins when they had substitute Karl Harton sent off for allegedly throwing a punch at an opposition player - just after he had been denied a try himself by the officials, who judged he had been taken over the dead ball line before grounding the ball.
Acorn were slow out of the blocks in the opening 20 minutes and found themselves 0-10 behind, against a Milford outfit who seemed capable of offloading in the tackle at will.
Their first breakthrough came on 7 minutes when Tom Wilson broke through on the half way line before carrying the ball 40 metres and then sending full back Ryan Oxtoby in for a try , which the latter converted to give the visitors a 0-6 lead.
Their second score came on 15 minutes, when offloads and a non contact Acorn defence on the home sides left edge was left exposed and centre Matt Brookson crossed over for an unconverted try.
Acorn during the first half,had an excellent completion rate - but the only trouble was that they spent most of that half without the ball in hand and therefore had a lot fewer sets then was necessary to cause Milford enough problems.
Their one moment of class came on 20 minutes, when decoy runners and bodies in motion had the Milford defence chasing ghosts and Acorn full back Joe Budd was able to send Acorns in form center Ryan Gallacher in for his customary try,which at least got Acorn on the score board at 4- 10 behind.
Too many lost balls and penalties were beginning to blight the Acorn performance and on 30 minutes Milford edged into a 4-12 lead on the back of a Martin Loveridge penalty goal.
On 36 minutes Acorn were punished for poor defending around the play the ball as they allowed Tom Wilson to barge his way over from close range for a try which Loveridge added the conversion to- putting the visitors 4-18 to the good at the break.
Acorn knew that if they were to have any chance of getting anything out of this contest, then they would need to strike early.
This they did on 45 minutes when quick hands along their three quarters ended with centre Ryan Gallacher breezing over on the angle for the try which Anthony Chilton converted - giving Acorn hope at 10 - 18 down.
Their hopes faded, just as they were getting a grip of the game - with the sending off of Harton on 52mins.
This moment of madness was compounded on 55 minutes when a handling error behind the Acorn try line , was jumped on by Wilson as he notched an unconverted try to push the visitors clear at 10 - 22.
To their credit, Acorn remained competitive and on 61 minutes they got a foothold back in the game when lively hooker James Mountford went over from close range for a try which reduced the defecit to 14-22.
With MOTM Tim Stubbs leading the way up front - well supported by young back rowers Reece Rushworth & Brandon Harris , Acorn were sniffing the improbable.
This certainly took on the whiff of a real possibility - when against all odds they further reduced Milfords lead to 22-18 , when Acorns impressive winger Matty Downes caught a cross field kick in mid air before swivling and scoring an unconverted try.
It proved to be a false dawn , when another handling error was made on the half way line, and Loveridge then hacked the ball forward before pouncing on it for the games final score.
Which left us with that oh so familiar feeling that we had let ourselves down - on the back of poor defending and poor discipline.