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York Acorn seek best cure for Magaluf hangover
A BOOZY stag weekend in Magaluf might not have been the best preparation for a vital top-of-the-table clash but head coach Scott Rhodes is hoping his York Acorn ARLC players can recover from the excesses enough to maintain their place at the summit.
Acorn entertain Castleford Lock Lane tomorrow night (7.30pm) in a game billed by club chiefs not only as a huge promotion challenge but also – with a cheeky grin towards the city’s professional club – “the best rugby league in town”.
But, in a blow to their hopes, they will be missing no fewer than four players who extended their stay in Majorca to this weekend, and the remainder who flew home from key man Tom Hill’s stag do on Monday have not so far been in a state to train with much vigour.
Rhodes, who also went to Spanish island, is optimistic the bonding benefits from the beery bash will outweigh any lingering hangovers.
“I don’t know what kind of intensity we will get from the lads – there wasn’t a great deal in training on Tuesday. We know it’s an important game, though,” said the former York City Knights captain.
“Lock Lane are a physical team. I’m not too sure what they will bring away from home but our mindset has to be spot-on.
“It (the stag weekend) has possibly not done us the world of good but it was a good bonding session with the lads and you don’t get the chance for many of them through the season, and we’re looking forward to the game now.”
Those who have stayed on holiday are Jordan Hyde, Anthony Chilton, Chris Rushworth and Martin Wood, while Aaron Thompson is a long-term injury absentee.
“We’re missing a few but we will bring a few in,” said Rhodes, who will add Martin McTigue, Kev Brayshaw and Damien Hilton to tomorrow night’s party of a different kind.
He is also hoping for a good turnout of home support following the wonderful win over title rivals Bradford Dudley Hill last time out. Acorn went top after that result, though Dudley Hill, and tomorrow’s opponents Lock Lane, are among four teams just two points behind.
“We performed pretty well last time – it was probably the best I’ve seen this season,” said Rhodes. “We’re now looking for another big performance.”
Strugglers Heworth will have to cause the biggest upset in the league this year if they are to topple high-flying Shaw Cross Sharks in division two on Saturday (2.30pm).
They might also have to do it without young gun Tyler Craig, too, due to his commitments with the England Lions Under-18s. As reported by The Press, Craig, also a York City Knights reserves regular, heads out to Lebanon on Tuesday on the Lions’ two-match tour, and it is thought he will be required for training with the representative squad this weekend.
A match of perhaps more interest to the local crowd on Saturday will be the ‘A’ team’s clash on the adjacent Elm Park Way pitch against city rivals Acorn ‘A’ (2pm) in the Yorkshire Men’s League.
York Lokomotive, still seeking their first win of term, face a tough cross-group trip to Milford Marlins ‘A’, who have won six of their seven games so far.