IT’S the big one for York Lokomotive ARLC.
Simon Moat’s buoyant charges go to Shaw Cross ‘A’ on Saturday (2.30pm) for what could well be a title decider in Yorkshire Men’s League group two - lose it and the crown belongs to the Sharks, but win it and the Lokos will have one hand on the trophy.
It would also be the York expansion club’s first-ever piece of silverware since forming in 2008.
Moat’s men have not played since beating the Sharks 28-24 at home a month ago, with last week’s call-off - Castleford Panthers ‘A’ conceded the game as they could not raise a side - not what the club had wanted, even if they did take the points from a 24-0 walkover win.
“I would have preferred a game, although as it’s worked out it’s not made a great deal of difference,” said Moat. “We were pretty confident of winning and it would have been good to have a game after a few weeks off ahead of Shaw Cross this weekend.
“But Shaw Cross are in the same position as their opponents, Scarborough Pirates, couldn’t get a team out either.
“It’s all been gearing up to this one anyway. The focus has been this game.
“We played very well when we beat them at home but we now have to do what nobody else has done this year and beat them on their own pitch.”
Shaw Cross top the table with 22 points from 13 games. Bradford Dudley Hill are level on points but have played all their 14 fixtures.
Then come Lokomotive on 20 points from 12 games, ahead of Normanton ‘A’ on 19 from 13. The Lokos complete their season with a rearranged home game against Normanton next Wednesday.
They have been boosted by the return from injury of full-back Matt Turner and forward Matt Chapman, both of whom were previously expected to be out for the season.
Liam Watling is also fit after being doubtful last week, while key men Chris Corr and Tom Dunmore are available again.
Hooker Ricky James is unavailable, meaning York St John University student Ben Thompson comes in for his debut.
“It’s a great game to come in to,” said Moat. “The players have trained really well over the last month. Attendance has been excellent and the intensity has been very good. I couldn’t be happier.
“If we perform as we can and win our last two games, we win the league. It’s in our hands.”
As for the growing number of call-offs in the Yorkshire Men’s League - which have accounted for York Acorn ‘A’s last two games in the premier division as they finished second bottom - Moat added: “It’s ridiculous.
“The Rugby Football League need to have a look at it and do something about it.”
Also in group two on Saturday, Heworth ‘A’ finish their season at home to Moldgreen ‘A’ (2.30pm).