DERBY day has returned in National Conference League division two where Heworth will be hoping cross-city rivals York Acorn do not derail their promotion drive.

Thanet Road is the venue for the big match (kick off 2.30pm) when Acorn will be looking to avenge their away hammering earlier in the season.

The Blue and Golds, beaten 43-2 at Elm Park Way in October, ended a barren six-match run last weekend with a crucial victory over Cottingham Tigers, a win which virtually guaranteed their NCL status.

But they will come up against a team on top form, who lie second in the table and need the points to keep in touch with leaders Milford and third-placed Wath Brown, who have games in hand.

Heworth player-coach Brendan Carlyle was confident of completing a double but said: "Last week was a good win for Acorn and I've heard they played really well so that will be good for them going into this match.

"Local derbies are always big games. There are that many players from either side that want to do really well that league placings go out of the window.

"We all know each other. A couple of Acorn players are best mates with a few Heworth players - but I'm afraid that goes out of the window when they get changed."

The Villagers, who had a week off, will be missing the injured Lee Clark, who is probably out for the season, and unavailable second-row Jason Kane, but Nikki Wilson and Steve Barnard are both fit and Mark Green is also available again.

For Acorn, scrum-half Jonny Waldron is available again after being suspended for the last two games, while they will be looking for Lee McTigue, who was back from York City Knights last weekend, to press in the forwards.

A crucial game in Heworth's promotion push will also be taking place in Cumbria where Wath Brow Hornets entertain Milford.

With Hornets expected to win their games in hand and thus take the title, Heworth would like them to take the spoils as this would leave Heworth with the chance to draw level on points with the Marlins in the race for the second promotion spot.

Heworth's points difference is far worse than the Marlins, but should they finish level on points with second spot, there could be a better chance of league chiefs promoting three teams into division one.

As reported by the Evening Press, the expulsion of Redhill from division one has left league bosses with the choice of relegating just one team and promoting two as normal, or relegating two teams as normal and promoting three - which would benefit Heworth.

York Acorn Under-13s coasted into the Challenge Cup semi-finals with a 78-6 win over second division Westgate.

The York youngsters ran in 14 tries through Adam Jones, Tom Wilcox Harrison, Mathew Fairclough, Oliver Wilcox Harrison, Steve Doswell, Eddie Bedingham, Dave Leeke and Adam Craven. Ross Varley kicked 11 out of 14 goals.

Adam Jones was man of the match.

Acorn went behind to an early try from Upton but hit back before half-time with a long range try from Danny Birkitt.

Upton had another good start in the second half running over four tries but Acorn replied with tries from Mathew Fairclough, Tom Harrison, Adam Jones (2) but Upton shaded it 30-28. Ross Varley kicked the rest of Acorn's points.

Updated: 09:22 Thursday, March 20, 2003