A LATE try from a 17-year-old debutant secured York Acorn a 24-24 draw away to Featherstone Lions.

Eddie Prescott’s unconverted try in the 79th minute ensured that Acorn took their first point of the season in the National Conference League (NCL) premier division.

For the second week in a row, Acorn will feel that they could have won the game, if only for a 15-minute period where they once again conceded 18 unanswered points that very nearly saw them on the wrong end of the final scoreline.

The match began brightly for Acorn and they took a third-minute lead when a clever Antony Chilton reverse kick into the Featherstone 20, found its way into the hands of second-rower Elliott Bulmer who went in for a try.

Chilton added the conversion for a 0-6 lead.

Acorn’s advantage was short lived when Featherstone hit back on 10 minutes with a try from second-rower Davi Garahan, who took full advantage of back-to-back penalties and a quick play-the-ball to race over.

Impressive full-back Ian Jackson added the extras to tie the scores.

It didn’t take Acorn long to get their noses back in front, with an excellent try scored and created by former York City Knights trialist Lewis Brown.

The scrum-half put Tom Hill through a gap on halfway before the centre returned the favour to the supporting Brown who added the finish. Chilton again added the conversion.

The rest of the half saw both sides test each others defences out, with Acorn indebted to the tackling of centres Hill and Prescott and forwards Adam Speck, Nick Speck, Jordan Hyde and Bulmer.

Unfortunately for Acorn, the opening 20 minutes of the second half belonged solely to the hosts as Featherstone moved into a healthy 24-12 lead.

Lions drew level three minutes after the restart when hooker Michael Wise found a gap from close range.

They then hit the lead for the first time in the match on 48 minutes, as Jackson profited from an Acorn error before adding his second conversion of the half.

When Featherstone man-of-the-match Danny Glassell somehow twisted and turned his way over, a ty which Jackson goaled, Acorn’s hopes were quickly fading.

But, a rousing final dozen minutes ensure they wouldn’t leave empty handed.

Acorn kept the ball alive on the final play and Hill’s kick to the corner was pounced on by winger Mark Sanderson.

With momentum now with Acorn they scored again on 74 minutes, another last-tackle play seeing Chilton kicking across field for Ryan Gallacher to ground on the flank.

At 24-20 and with barely a minute remaining, Acorn snatched a leveller.

More last-pitch passing saw the ball in the hands of Prescott who brushed past his opposite number and race home to the line.

Chilton was unable to add the conversion to any of the three scores, all from tough positions.

Acorn coach Josh Mortimer said: “I’m a little bit disappointed about the way we performed in the opening quarter of the second half, when gave away far too many penalties due to poor discipline.

“But I couldn’t fault the teams character and the way the lads stuck together to fight back for a share of the spoils.

“On reflection, I look on it as a point gained, rather then one lost.”

Elsewhere, Heworth ARLFC came from behind to secure a hard-earned 6-6 draw away to Oldham St Annes in the NCL division three.

It was a tough uncompromising encounter played on a narrow greasy pitch, in testing conditions made worse by continuous rain throughout the second period, which made handling difficult.

Each side put in strenuous efforts to gain supremacy and the game could have gone either way but in the end it was a determined defensive display which earned them both a share of the spoils.

The hosts led 4-0 at the break with a try after five minutes by hooker Callum Fletcher.

Heworth started the second half strongly by exerting extreme pressure on the home line with several repeat sets of six tackles and their efforts paid off on 53 minutes.

Substitute Liam Jackson darted over from close range and winger Myles Harrison slotted the conversion to nudge them two points in front.

With quarter of an hour remaining Saints stand off Luke Skilling levelled the contest with a penalty goal.

In a nail-biting frantic final period both teams battled manfully to create one final match winning opportunity.

It was the hosts who came the closest with two drop goal attempts drifting wide but neither side was able to break the deadlock.

Loose forward Liam Richmond was Villagers man-of-the-match with second-rower Fergus Chapman and Harrison also catching the eye.