YORK Lokomotive ARLC boss Simon Moat is confident his side can topple the leaders twice to lift their first-ever piece of silverware.

It's now crunch time for the Lokos as they host table-toppers Shaw Cross Sharks 'A' in group two of the Yorkshire Men's League knowing defeat will leave their title hopes hanging by a thread.

Victory, though, would see them draw level with the Sharks at the summit with three games left - the last of which is again against the Dewsbury outfit.

The Lokos will be without key men Tom Dunmore and Matt Turner but Moat sees Tim Lewis and former coach Jon Hough as ideal replacements at stand-off and full-back respectively, and he reckons his side have hit top form.

"It's a really big game. Shaw Cross going into it knowing if they beat us the league is probably theirs. We're at pains to do our utmost to win and keep our dreams alive.

"We've got four games left and three are at home - and we then go to Shaw Cross in the last game of the season. We need to beat them twice, presuming they win their other games and Bradford Dudley Hill 'A' win theirs. It could even come down to points-difference."

Mid-table Heworth 'A' can do their neighbours a favour as they go to Dudley Hill - the third team in the title mix - on Saturday.

Moat said: "We know what we need to do. We're very confident. We've worked very hard and the guys last week at Castleford Panthers 'A' showed tremendous character. Cas Panthers' first team had no game so their 'A' team were loaded with National Conference League players - they had eight I was told - and we won 40-30, which was fantastic."

The win came at a cost as full-back Turner fractured ribs and could miss the rest of the season. Former York City Knights player Dunmore, meanwhile, has family commitments.

Hough, in for Turner, has played no first-team rugby this year but Moat said: "He's been training these last six weeks and he knows what he's doing. He's the ideal replacement."

Moat also has Tom Gargan in contention and will be looking for another big performance from new prop Matty Richardson after his barnstorming debut against the Panthers.

In the NCL, York Acorn have a quick return match against promotion certainties Oulton Raiders.

The Blue and Golds lost 36-0 at Oulton last Thursday night but host the leaders on Saturday looking to dent their title aspirations in their two-horse race with Rochdale Mayfield.

Heworth will be eyeing their fourth win of the division three season as they host whipping boys Peterlee.

It's not the best timing, though, as it comes immediately after the Pumas' only win this year - a 40-28 defeat of Hindley.

Acorn 'A' went to Oulton 'A' in the Yorkshire Men's League premier division last night and host Kippax Knights next Wednesday.