ACORN HAVE THE DROP ON WATH BROW
York Acorn produce the shock of the Challenge Cup second round
A 79th minute drop goal from the boot of stand off Anthony Chilton saw York Acorn produce the shock of the Challenge Cup second round , when they secured a third round slot by virtue of an intense memorable 9- 8 away win at Premier league side and Cumbrian giants Wath Brow Hornets.
It proved to be the only score of a defence dominated second half, after the first half had ended 8 apiece.
Acorns togetherness proved the major difference between the two evenly match sides.
At times their tackling was brutal but effective to say the least , with Acorns top performers in this department being their outstanding loose forward Reece Rushworth whose carries and tackle count was staggering.
He received excellent support from fellow pack men MOTM second rower Josh Thompson and his second row partner Matthew Woods, whilst prop forwards Tom Hill, Tim Stubbs & Darryl North were immense in the forward exchanges throughout.
It would be unfair not to highlight the work of centres Ryan Gallacher and Jordan Potter with the latter literally running himself to a standstill.
The truth of this performance was the fact that every player contributed fully in what will go down as one of Acorns best ever away wins.
The match was nearly 30 minutes old before either defence was breached and it was the host's who finally found some space on the Acorn right edge defence which allowed their centre Karl Dixon to squeeze in at the corner flag for an unconverted try that put them 4-0 up.
Within minutes Acorn had hit back , when good approach play by their Australian powerhouse Nathan Welsh and Acorns livewire substitute hooker Lewis Lord created the position from where Rushworth crashed over for a try goaled by stand off Chilton to edge Acorn into a 4- 6 lead.
Back came Wath Brow, when on 37 minutes centre Dixon put his wing partner Luke Davison over in the same corner to tie the scores up at 8 - 8 going into the interval after Chilton had added a 39th minute penalty goal.
The big question was,on the restart could Acorn replicate the intensity of their first half showing or would Wath Brow hit the ground running and take the game away from the gallant Acorn.
The latter looked the more likely on the restart as Wath Brow picked the pace up of their alround game quite a bit and seemed to have Acorn back pedalling for the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
With their substitute hooker Ellison Holgate starting to get the host's very much on the front foot, it just seemed a matter of time before Acorn would succumb to the ever increasing pressure they were being put under.
But Acorn turned the tide, thanks chiefly to the stubbornness and effectiveness of their resolute defence that frustrated their opponents attack to a standstill, combined with their creative tactical kicking game and overall general game management - in which half backs Chilton and scrum half Lewis Brown were the chief orchestrators.
Also Acorns exit sets were proving to be better constructed and more useful then their opponents.
The last quarter of the game belonged to Acorn as far as the side most likely to take the spoils,
Simply because Acorn gradually kept forcing the cumbrians back towards their own try line.
Several drop outs later and with the clock going down to squeaky bum time, Acorn finally got their just rewards with that magical Chilton moment that saw Acorn drop into the next round and give Head Coach Joshua Mortimer and his assistant Nicky Caldwell a memorable moment that hopefully will be the prelude to many more over the coming months.