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Heworth ARLFC

York Acorn vs Heworth. Saturday 25/5/2024. Ncl premier division round 2 rescheduled fixture.

In the first ever meeting of the two Clubs in the Premier Division of the National Conference League Heworth retained the bragging rights in the City with a hard fought 20-16 success over fierce local rivals York Acorn in front of a large crowd at Thanet Road. It was all you would expect from a local derby, a tough and enthralling physical encounter with no quarter asked or given and the result in doubt right until the final whistle. The Villagers, who were never behind in the contest, led 14-6 at the break and 20-6 after 65 minutes but had to resist a strong fightback from the hosts before running out deserved winners.

Acorn had much the better of the early exchanges and territory but were let down by a failure to control the ball which led to them turning over possession at regular intervals. In addition, when they did manage to exert pressure on the visitors line some solid defending kept them at bay. Heworth remained patient, completing their sets and turning over the ball in good field position before taking the lead on 24 minutes when stand off Danny Allan threaded a pin point grubber kick through the advancing defensive line and second rower Tyler Craig followed up to touch down for an unconverted try. Five minutes later they doubled their advantage when a neat offload from centre Ben Dent led to winger George Burton crossing by the right corner flag to make it 8-0. The Villagers then suffered a cruel blow when the game had to be stopped for five minutes for scrum half Callum Rutland, in only his second game after coming back from a long lay-off with an ACL injury, to be carried from the field with a suspected broken ankle. When the match resumed Heworth kept up the momentum and went further ahead when a strong run from Craig twenty metres out saw him shrug off several defenders and reach out to score his second touchdown which Allan improved to put them 14-0 ahead. However, just minutes before the break Acorn got themselves back in the contest with a try by second rower George Hunt goaled by stand off Antony Chilton to reduce the deficit to 14-6 at half time.

Both sides came out firing at the start of the second period but defences prevailed until on 54 minutes the Black and Whites looked to have taken control of the match when forward Liam Richmond showed his strength to force his way over to the right of the posts for their fourth try. Hooker Jack Sadler added the extras to make it 20-6. The hosts though were not about to lie down and 10 minutes later it was game on when Joe Porter proved unstoppable from close to the line and full back Matt Chilton's conversion reduced the deficit to eight points. Sensing victory and helped by a string of penalties in their favour the Blue and Golds, with just six minutes remaining set the visitors nerves jangling after Antony Chilton crossed wide out on the left edge for an unconverted try to make it 20-16. In a frantic final few minutes both sides exerted strenuous efforts to prevail but Heworth's defence stood firm and they held out for a deserved victory. 

Prop Jack Aldous took the Villagers Man of the match award.

Next Saturday St Helens outfit Thatto Heath Crusaders are the visitors to Elmpark Way. Kick off 2.30p.m.

Match report- Dave Ward


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