HEWORTH ARLC boss Tim Rumford has been revitalised with "another big injection of hope" thanks to his young guns' encouraging display against Underbank Rangers.
Rumford had been left down in the dumps after another poor start to the National Conference League division three season, and so turned to youthful exuberance against high-flying Underbank last Saturday knowing he had nothing to lose.
The Villagers again lost, leaving them second bottom, but the 24-6 scoreline did not do them justice.
They now have a few days off - the bulk of the amateur game has a blank fixture list this Saturday due to Magic Weekend in Super League - but this performance, plus the prospect of new signing Omar Alwari, if fit, forming an exciting half-back partnership with Danny Allan the following Saturday, has left Rumford re-energised.
"We were very happy - apart from the fact the scoreline does not reflect the effort that our lads put into the game," said the former Castleford Academy coach.
"We had eight under-19s in there and on the bench we had four U17s, and we were tremendous in terms of enthusiasm and effort.
"It was 12-6 at half-time and we rattled them. They had an experienced team and some ex-pros and we took the game straight to them.
"Going into the last 15 minutes or so it was 18-6 and we were well in the game, pressing on their line.
"It's given me another injection of hope. It's a massive boost as regards what we're trying to do."
Rumford has recently looked to bolster the squad with players from West Yorkshire in order "to be fair on the core of really good, committed, honest players" at Elmpark Way, and "to help the excellent youngsters" coming through the juniors.
Asked if the weekend off has come at a good time, he said: "It probably has.
"We'll be down training with everyone having seen that what we're trying to sell to players can come off against the top sides.
"No matter who you're playing, if you control the ball and play with enthusiasm, you give yourself a chance of winning.
"We can build on it in training and go into the game against Eastmoor the following week with confidence."
York Acorn 'A' and both Selby Warriors sides are among the few amateur teams who will be playing this weekend.
Acorn 'A', already in the York & District Community Cup final after victory over new Earswick last week, take on Kippax Knights in the Yorkshire Men's League Forty-20 Cup semi-final tomorrow night - with this game due to be played across town at Heworth (7.30pm).
On Saturday, Selby Warriors' summer side go to Myton Warriors 'A' in the YML entry division, while Selby Warriors 'A' finally finish their Pennine League division seven campaign. A 44-32 win at Allerton Bywater 'A' last week means they can end an excellent third if they beat Cowling at home.