Acorn 24 Hunslet Warriors 16
Acorn got the better of their opponents Hunslet Warriors, thanks to a storming 75th minute try by centre Matty Downes
York Acorn finally got the better of their visiting opponents Hunslet Warriors, thanks chiefly to storming 75th minute try scoring 30m run by Acorn centre Matty Downes , that left 4 would be tacklers lying on the ground, and helped York Acorn move to within one win of a home NCL Division one play off spot- whilst at the same time consign their spirited visitors to the disappointment of relegation.
Upto this point the game had been in the balance swinging one way then the next, before eventually Matty Downes calmed everyone's nerves and sent the home fans away happy.
The game had started poorly for Acorn , as it seemed that they were suffering from the Normanton defeat blues, and the visitors enjoyed plenty of territorial advantage during the opening 15 minutes.
During this period, Acorns excellent try line defence had to repel back to back sets on more then one occasion - infact on 3 separate times they had to withstand triple sets of attacks.
The big surprise was the fact that , Acorn only conceeded one score during this period and that came on 4 minutes , when prop forward Luke Day crashed over for a try converted by full back Gary McClelland to put the Warriors 0-6 up.
Acorn managed to shake off their defensive dutys long enough to hit back on 17 minutes, when scrum half Lewis Brown expertly put second rower & captain Tom Hill through a huge gap from 10 yards out and he went over for a try converted by the boot of stand off Matthew Chilton that tied the scores up at 6 apiece .
Acorn had their chances to take the lead and stretch it on several occasions, but they either forced the pass or took the wrong option - a theme which was to blight their performance over the full 80 minutes as a whole.
Just when it seemed that the two sides would go in level at the interval , Acorn bagged a brace of game breaking Trys in as many minutes.
Firstly on 37 minutes, a superbly floated cross field kick by substitute stand off Anthony Chilton (who'd replaced injured brother Matthew - mid way through the half), was touched on to center Ryan Gallacher by winger Josh Thompson and he crossed for an unconverted try, to put Acorn 10 - 6 up.
Within a matter of moments , Acorn had stretched their lead to 14 - 6 when excellent attacking approach play involving several pairs of hands - was inventually taken up by scrum half Lewis Brown , who then squeezed out a miracle cut out pass to center Gallacher ( who was hugging the touchline ) and he finished expertly in the corner for an unconverted try , which gave Acorn a healthy half time lead.
Both sides new the importance of the next score and the game became a tense tight struggle with Acorn being well served throughout by prop forwards MOTM Tim Stubbs and Adam Endersby who both put in colossal 80 minute stints in the forward exchanges, while winger Jack Stewart caught the eye with several powerful pressure relieving runs from deep within their half.
Acorn notched what they had hoped was to be the game securing score on 60 minutes when Stand off Anthony Chilton produced a piece of individual magic ,when he put in a clever reverse kick close to the Warriors line before chasing through to touch down for a try he himself added the extras to - putting
Acorn 20 - 6 in front with only a quarter of the match left to play.
Hunslet decided they had nothing to lose and decided to give it one final big heave ho and it very nearly paid off for them as they came so close to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with back to back trys in quick succession.
Firstly on 69 minutes a break on the half way line by their experienced loose forward Caldon Bravo down Acorns right edged defence , saw him put centre Chris Hartley in for an unconverted try tout wide to narrow the gap to 20-10.
Then the nerves really started to jangle for the home side , when prop forward Luke Day strode over under the posts for a crucial try which McClelland added the conversion to, putting the visitors just 4 points behind at 20 - 16.
Acorns response was to give the ball to impressive center Matty Downes and he produced that 75th minute piece of magic to secure the win.
Other notable contributions for Acorn, came from their powerful running full back Mark Sanderson and impressive second rower Brandon Harris.
Acorn know that they will need to give a much more polished performance in attack if they are to beat third from bottom Featherstone in their final league game and earn a home draw.
Featherstone go into their final league game needing a win and hope that Hull Dockers lose there's if they are to avoid relegation.
Today they travelled to second placed Underbank and secured a surprising easy win , which follows on to the surprising win at home to Milford recently and away to yes you've guessed it - Acorn earlier in the campaign.
Yet 3 games ago they were beaten away at bottom of the table Blackbrook, such is the unpredictable nature of this league.
It won't be easy for Acorn, but at least it'still in their own hands and hopefully they can rediscover their true form and secure a home tie. ...