YORK Acorn ARLC's outside hopes of automatic promotion are still alive after a gutsy 18-14 win at play-off bound Wigan St Pats in National Conference League division one.

The Blue and Golds will head into Saturday's final home league game against relegated Dewsbury Moor in joint second place with Featherstone Lions, third only on points difference.

Acorn will need Featherstone to lose at Myton Warriors or only win by the narrowest of margins, while they will need to rack up a big win over Moor.

They kept their chances alive with a much improved second half performance against St Pats, overturning an 8-0 first half defecit.

Acorn were well below their best in the first 40 minutes and were indebted to a battling defensive showing in which loose forward Tom Holder and man of the match Jordan Potter were faultless.

The only try of the first half came on 16 minutes as a result of a long floated pass that saw winger Craig Thomas go in and wing partner Harry Warburton added the extras.

With Acorn's defence standing firm, St Pats eventually had to rely on a 39th minute penalty from Warburton to add to their lead.

Acorn's first score came on the hour when a misdirected St Pats pass in the York side's 20 was snapped up by centre Ryan Gallacher, who then raced to half way before releasing Lewis Brown.

He showed devastating pace to clear any would-be tacklers and scorch over for a try goaled by Antony Chilton.

On 64 minutes, a raking kick into the St Pats' half from the boot of acting-half Lewis Lord caused several handling errors by the hosts. The ball was eventually hacked into the hosts' in-goal area and Gallacher was first to the ball for a try goaled by Chilton.

Wigan seemed to have taken the spoils with 10 minutes to go when their man of the match Joe Turton crashed over and Warburton converted.

There was one final twist in this exciting game and it came on 72 minutes when Acorn's Lewis Brown snapped up yet another interception to race clear from near the half way line and score his second try of the game.

Chilton's conversion gave Acorn an 18-14 advantage that their resolute defence, with Holder, Rushworth and Scott-Pedersen to the fore, was not about to give up.