HEWORTH ARLC remain third in Kingstone Press National Conference League division three - despite a depleted first team going down 26-8 at Drighlington.

Drighlington are the only team to have beaten Heworth in an otherwise outstanding run of 14 games for the Black and Whites, who also lost to the West Yorkshire side at Elmpark Way three weeks ago.

Fielding a side lacking several regular players - including the vastly experienced George Elliott - the Villagers struggled in the hard-fought encounter on a narrow pitch not suited to their expansive style of rugby.

The Black and Whites trailed 6-4 at the break and, despite a determined effort and plenty of good field position, they found it hard to break down a resolute defence and the hosts ran out worthy winners.

Heworth's sole consolation is that league rivals Batley Boys and Dewsbury Celtic also suffered defeats - to Oldham St Anne's and table-topping Hunslet Warriors, respectively - remaining behind on points difference.

After an evenly-contested opening period, the home side opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a try by winger Josh Ramsden converted by scrum-half Mick Sanderson.

But 10 minutes later, some slick handling saw Heworth wingman Rhys Bailey go over in the left corner for an unconverted score which reduced the deficit to two points - how it remained at the interval.

Four minutes into the second half, Heworth went in front for the only time in the match when James Gill followed up a Ben Dyson-Dent grubber kick close to the line and touched down to make it 8-6.

Drighlington restored their lead on 49 minutes with a try by substitute Gary Smith, goaled by Sanderson.

With both sides battling hard for supremacy the game was in the balance until the 66th minute when a Sanderson penalty edged the home side further ahead at 14-8.

The Black and Whites still had several chances to restore parity but were unable to breach their opponents' line and Drighlington went on to add tries in the closing 14 minutes from centre Jake Dearden and stand-off John Gallagher, both of which were improved by Sanderson to close out the game.

Centre Joe Deighton was Heworth's man of the match.

In the NCL Alliance League, Heworth 'A' lost 42-28 to Featherstone Lions 'A' at Elmpark Way.

The Villagers trailed 16-6 at the break but battled back to 28-28 with 10 minutes remaining before the Lions posted three late tries and a conversion to take the spoils.

Try-scorers for Heworth were Ben Barnard (2), Liam Braithwaite, Chris Borwell and man-of-the-match Josh Hughes, with Leon Watkinson kicking four conversions.

New Earswick All Blacks leapfrogged opponents West Hull into third in Yorkshire Men's League premier division with a 30-18 win on Humberside.

York Acorn 'A' were without a fixture at the weekend but are still third-placed in division two - though Keighley Albion are now breathing down their neck.

Only points difference separates Acorn from the West Yorkshire outfit, who beat Goole Vikings 24-0 to go level on 14 points.