SCOTT RHODES believes York Acorn ARLC may have turned a corner as they go into the second half of the National Conference League division one season.

The Blue and Golds’ chief was hit by injuries and unavailability early in the campaign but, with numbers returning the fold, results have picked up. Last weekend’s victory over Milford Marlins lifted his men into fifth place in the table.

While he still believes the table-topping duo of Rochdale Mayfield and Oulton Raiders are the pair to beat as far as promotion to the premier division is concerned, he is optimistic about the rest of the year as Acorn travel to Eccles on Saturday.

He may be without Joe Porter, who is sporting a nasty gash on his eye, while Gareth Singleton has taken a knock to a knee, but Rhodes said: “I have always thought that coming into the second half of the season we would be a little stronger.

“Players have been on holidays and stag weekends but we are getting the players back to full fitness. It helps competition for places. You can see us turning a corner.

“Our form is picking up. The players are performing well and we are looking forward to every game. It’s probably a bit much to catch Rochdale and Oulton but we’ll keep plugging away.”

Rhodes also paid tribute to Pete Warters - the former Acorn coach, chairman and club founder who died this week - describing him as the “godfather of York rugby league”.

“He was a great man and an absolute legend at Acorn,” he added. “He will be sorely missed and everyone has massive respect for what he did.”

Heworth, meanwhile, entertain Underbank Rangers in division three.

In the Yorkshire Men’s League, Acorn ‘A’ go to Oulton ‘A’ in the top tier, Heworth ‘A’ visit Huddersfield YMCA in group 2 and Selby Warriors’ summer team visit Moorend Thorne Marauders in the entry division.

• THE York Under-18s Community Cup final between York Acorn and New Earswick All Blacks will take place at Acorn’s Thanet Road ground tomorrow night, kicking off at 7pm.

Admission is £3 for adults, £1 for concessions or free for U16s accompanied by an adult.