Acorn 30 Featherstone 31
A 76th minute drop goal by Featherstone Lions, condemned York Acorn to a 30-31 surprise home defeat
A 76th minute drop goal by Featherstone Lions lively full back Ian Jackson, condemned York Acorn to a 30-31 surprise home defeat and their first reversal in their last 5 league games.
True Acorn were without 3 key players on tour in Ukraine, as well as being without a further 4 other players who were either injured or unavailable due to other commitments.
But , despite these absentees Acorn were still confident of producing a performance that would be good enough to bring home the points.
But to be fair Acorn were a pale shadow of the side who had been in good form of late and this wasn't a good performance to be fair .
Too many players running side wards and not enough players hitting the line either with the ball or as dummy runners .
Not enough deception or depth to the Acorn attack and despite scoring 30 points they could and should have had more.
As for the defence, players falling off tackles was the name of the game for Acorn and something they will need to put right in 2 weeks time when they visit top of the table Hunslet Parkside.
As for the game, Acorn couldn't even blame a slow start for their loss as they got off to the perfect start, when on 5 minutes , center Josh Thompson burst through to then stretch over for a try goaled by stand off Anthony Chilton - to put the home side 6-0 up.
But their joy was short lived , when on 10 minutes Fev scrum half Jake Perkins intercepted an Acorn pass before racing 70 meters to score a try converted by Jackson , that levelled up the scores at 6 all.
The next score came on the half hour mark , when Acorn finally broke down a resolute Fev defence - when scrum half Tim Elliott produced a clever clip kick behind the visitors defence and center Matthew Woods pounced to score a try which Chilton added the extras.
Featherstone hit back almost immediately, when on 33 minutes loose forward Dean Gamble , darted over from close range.
Jacksons conversion brought the scores level at 12 apiece.
Acorn hit back on 36 minutes, when veteran second rower Joe Burns rolled back the years , with a stunning individual try that saw him ghost in and out of the paths of several would be tacklers to go over from 20 yards out.
Chilton added the extras to put Acorn back in front at 18-12.
An error at the kick off gave Fev the impetus they needed to fight back and on 38 mins they once again drew level when substitute Danny Glassell crossed for a Jackson converted score that put both sides into the dressing sheds on equal terms.
Acorn began the second half strongly , when Acorn prop Tim Stubbs powered over from close range for a try goaled by Chilton, that put the blue & golds 24 - 18 in front.
Once more the game script followed the previous 44 mins pattern perfectly when they hit back to draw level at 24 all.
Once more , Acorns right side edge defence was culpable to a swift Fev attack, which saw the visitors MOTM center Gaz Gale rip through from 40 yards out to race in unopposed for a try which Jackson once again turned into a 6 pointer with the conversion.
Then on 55 mins Acorn produced a wonderful try courtesy of a stunning piece of acrobatics by winger Jack Stewart got on the end of a clever Anthony Chilton attacking kick close to the Fev line by acrobatically somersaulting to reach the ball inches inside the dead ball line.
For once Chilton was unable to add the conversion but on 60 mins he increased Acorns lead to 6 points with a penalty goal.
Up to this point Acorn had been very disciplined but they are always only a minute away from letting themselves down and on 62 minutes they produced a moment of madness when after back to back penalties on their own line they had sub forward Adam Speck sin binned for an alleged intimidating head movement in the direction of a Fev player.
Despite a gallant rearguard defensive effort , Acorns 12 man line was breached once again down their right side edge - this time by full back Jackson who raced in from 30 yards out for a try he himself goaled to tie the scores level at 30-30.
Despite the hard work of hooker and MOTM James Mountford, allied to the industry of props Tim Stubbs, Elliott Bulmer & Adam Endersby along with a mammoth tackling stint by experienced scrum half Tim Elliott - Acorn were ultimately undone by a well taken 76th minute drop goal by Jackson.