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York Acorn ARLC aces ready to spring into action
CONFIDENT York Acorn ARLC are “bouncing” in training as they step up their bid for promotion to the National Conference League premier division.
The Blue and Golds host title rivals Bradford Dudley Hill at Thanet Road on Saturday (2.30pm) fresh from toppling then division one leaders Hunslet Warriors 24-18.
Currently fifth in the table, Acorn are only two points behind new leaders Castleford Lock Lane with three games in hand.
Coach Scott Rhodes believes a win this weekend will be the perfect springboard to a promotion place and draws confidence from his side’s record in crunch games this season.
“We are in good shape,” he said. “At training on Tuesday you could see there is a lot of confidence in the squad.
“The players are bouncing about and the attitude is good. We are all looking forward to this weekend.
“Bradford Dudley Hill are a good team, but we’ve always got up for the big games this season in the Challenge Cup and the league and won the vast majority of them.
“Against Hunslet Warriors we were outstanding. The players were magnificent from one to 17 and I think it was the best we’ve played so far this season. Not many teams go there and win.”
He added: “There are still five or six teams that could go up and this is a massive game. It’s a big test for our young lads.
“We’ve got four games left at home and two away, so that is massively in our favour. If we get a win this weekend I dare say we will go up.”
Acorn will be without prop Adam Endersby and his broken thumb could rule him out for up to four weeks.
Former skipper Mike Embleton is waiting in the wings to take his place in the starting line-up.
“He’s been absolutely outstanding in the front row,” said Rhodes. “I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“We will miss him but it will give somebody else the chance and Mike Embleton has got a lot of experience.”
The squad will be boosted by the return of winger John Waldron and half-back Tim Elliott.
Rhodes said: “On his day, I don’t think there is anyone better than John Waldron, it is just getting him out on the pitch. He’s had a few knocks and other problems, but he trained really well on Tuesday night.
“Tim Elliott was missing last weekend but he could come back into the squad this week. We will have a look at that tonight.”