A TRY five minutes from time consigned York Acorn ARLC to an 18-16 defeat by Normanton Knights in their opening game of the National Conference League division one campaign.

The Blue and Golds let slip a 16-6 lead in the last quarter at Thanet Road, with their inability to control the game costing them dear.

Normanton opened the scoring on three minutes after securing a repeat set on the Acorn line. Centre Lee Maskill cut back on the angle to score by the posts and Adrian Mulcahy converted.

Acorn hit back on ten minutes when Davey Burns scored wide out and the home side led 10-6 at the break after a 38th minute score by Tim Elliott, converted by Ryan Gallacher.

On 45 minutes, a flowing crossfield move saw Joe Porter charge to the line and the hosts stretched their lead two minutes later when Gallacher slotted over a penalty.

Matthew Woods failed to ground the ball as he was held up over the line on 65 minutes and the tables turned on 68 minutes when Maskill scored on the overlap after Acorn’s Arran Thompson had been sin-binned.

Mulcahy added the extras.

The decisive moment came on 75 minutes when hooker Chris Woolford sold an enormous dummy at the play the ball to go over unopposed and Mulcahy goaled.

Burns took the man of the match award, and he was well supported by Porter, Andy Gargan and Joe Budd.

Meanwhile, Heworth kicked off their division three campaign with a 36-8 win at Peterlee Pumas.

Former Leeds and York stand-off Danny Allan starred for the Villagers, who recovered from 4-0 down after four minutes to lead 20-4 at half-time with tries by Jonny Payne, Daryl Fogg, George Wilkinson and Paul Thompson.

Assistant coach Allan kicked two goals.

After the break, Heworth added tries through Mark Hayes, Payne and Josh Poulter, while Allan added two more conversions.

Fraser West, Wilkinson and Jason Harper performed well, as did under-18s ace Connor Page.