PLAY-OFFS bound Heworth ARLC edged to a 24-22 victory at Hensingham in Kingstone Press National Conference League division three.

The win lifted the Villagers into third place following Dewsbury Celtic’s defeat at Leigh East and they host Oldham St Annes in their final regular league game on Saturday.

Despite Hensingham taking a 6-0 lead on three minutes when hooker Chris Smith forced his way over for a try converted by full-back Callum Sirkett, Heworth had much the better of the first half, scoring four tries as well as having another harshly ruled out by the referee.

However, against a strong wind, Heworth kicker George Elliott could not convert, with two attempts hitting the posts and bouncing out.

Heworth led 16-6 at half-time and were in front until the 78th minute when Smith scored his hat-trick try, once again converted by Sirkett to level at 22-22.

Fortunately, though, Heworth managed to force themselves into the Hensingham half and when the Cumbrian outfit were penalised for back-chatting Elliott slotted over a last minute penalty to secure the two points.

In the first half, scrum-half and Heworth man of the match Liam Jackson scored two tries including an 80-metre race to the line after second rower Fergus Chapman had charged down a Hensingham kick.

Winger Jake Atkinson and Elliott also crossed for good tries to suggest that Heworth would press on in the second half and register a comfortable win.

But, although Chapman raced over for a 54th minute try and Elliott converted, Heworth still needed Elliott’s last-minute winner to save the day.