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Scott Rhodes eager to make York Acorn history
YORK Acorn ARLC are on the verge of the “biggest moment” in the club’s 39-year history.
That’s the message from head coach Scott Rhodes who has urged all rugby league fans in York to head down to Thanet Road on Saturday for the club’s National Conference League division one title decider against Egremont Rangers (kick off 2pm).
The Blue and Golds’ first team have never won a league trophy since their formation in the summer of 1973 – all their promotions have come as second or third-placed team – but a positive result against the Cumbrians in their last game of term will end their statistic.
“It’s possibly the biggest game in Acorn’s history,” said Rhodes. “The club have won trophies but never won a league. That’s how big this game is. We obviously want to win the league but the fact it’s a bit of history makes it that extra special.
“Everyone at the club is aware of it. I’ve been talking about it for two or three weeks to get the players motivated. They know what’s at stake.”
One of the first things Rhodes tweeted after promotion was achieved with victory at Millom last Saturday was that “the job was not yet done”. He added: “Going up was the main thing but I’ve always maintained if we want to go up we want to win it outright. We want to be the best in the competition.”
It won’t be easy though. Egremont themselves will lift the title if they win their three remaining games – yet if they lose on Saturday they won’t even go up. As it stands, Castleford Lock Lane are top, above second-placed Acorn on points-difference, but they have played all of their games.
“That’s how exciting this league is,” said Rhodes. “This is a cup final. We have to play well because there’s a lot at stake for Egremont too.
“We’re expecting a big crowd and we’re trying to promote it the best we can. Any ex-players, current players, friends, rugby league fans – get down this weekend. All funds raised go to a good cause as well – the Boxing Bowel Cancer fund – and hopefully it will be a fantastic day.”
Rhodes faces a selection headache ahead of it though. Stalwart Mike Embleton, 17-try half-back Joe Budd, prop Danny Caldwell and fellow forward Daryl North are all available again and come into contention.
The coach added: “It will be hard picking the team but that’s a good thing.”
New Earswick must beware a backlash as they host King Cross Park in the Pennine League championship.
While All Blacks were beating Moorends Thorne 30-22, King Cross crashed 68-12 at high-flying West Bowling, for which they will want to make amends.
All Blacks will also be without four players – Louis Pool, Alan Davidson, Bobby Smith and Johnny Clark – who are unavailable, although Jack Sinclair returns.
New Earswick ‘A’ go to Kellingley in division four. Jack Ireland and Carl Pallister are out injured but Phil Turpin and, possibly, Ben Fairburn are in line for returns.
Selby Warriors will bid to hit back from their 50-4 thrashing at Greetland in division three as they host Littleborough.
Selby ‘A’ go to unbeaten division seven joint-leaders Halifax Irish ‘A’.
• Heworth’s Challenge Cup tie at Underbank appears set to be played on Sunday rather than Saturday – to be confirmed. A preview will be carried in The Press tomorrow.