HEAD coach Leigh Paul-Rientoul reckons it will now take a minor miracle for York Acorn ARLC to break into the play-off places in National Conference League division one.

They remain only two points off sixth spot after their defeat to Pilkington Recs last weekend but face a daunting run-in, starting at third-placed Lock Lane on Saturday (2.30pm), a team who are eyeing automatic promotion.

The Blue and Golds also need other clubs to slip up in the five games that remain.

Said Paul-Rientoul: "It's one of those now. We've got tough games coming up, like Lock Lane and (leaders) Thornhill.

"We're pretty much going to have to win most of our games to have any chance. It's up to the players."

On last weekend's 35-16 reverse to their play-off rivals, Paul-Rientoul said: "We threw the game away.

"We were 10-0 up and bombed two chances so it should have been 22-0. It was still 10-6 at half-time and we still had it but we were a totally different team in the second half.

"We just went off the game-plan. Things were working for us (earlier in the match) but we started trying to do different things, and there were a lot of errors as well."

Acorn will again be without key hooker Lewis Lord this weekend, while Jordan Potter (ankle) and Matthew Woods (shoulder) are doubtful.

Neither played in last night's York & District Cup semi-final against York Lokomotive, when Paul-Rientoul was set to field a few fringe players.

Meanwhile, Heworth face a key clash in their Yorkshire Men's League division one title bid this weekend.

The table-topping Villagers go to Hunslet Club Parkside, who with victory on Saturday and games in hand, could yet join them at the summit.

Acorn 'A' host mid-table Allerton Bywater.

Relegation-haunted New Earswick All Blacks have the weekend off in the premier division.

Heworth 'A' go to Birkenshaw Bluedogs in division five, in a reverse of the tragic fixture last month that saw the death of Bluedogs player Max Blakeley.