YORK Acorn ensured that they avoided an upset against Orrell St James, sealing their place in the Third Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup with a 22-12 victory.

After George Hunt had opened the scoring with less than a minute played, the NCL premier side never looked back, a devastating spell seeing them run out worthy winners in what proved to be a stop-start encounter live on The Sportsman.

Acorn were dealt a blow when powerful centre Luke Swales was seriously injured as the first half reached its conclusion, with play stopped for almost an hour as he received treatment.

But Josh Mortimer’s side were ruthless when the game resumed, capitalising on ill-discipline and repeated errors from their hosts to score a further three times before the hour mark, rendering Orrell’s late comeback in vain.

Ant Chilton, drafted in from retirement as a replacement for the injured Nathan Conroy, proved York’s standout, scoring a try and three conversions.

“I was never in doubt about what I was going to get from him,” Mortimer told The Sportsman, having drafted him in at the last minute for the season opener.

“It wasn’t ideal with the couple of injuries that we’ve picked up, but Antony will help me out when he can. I think he knew that the question was coming.”

The Acorn boss was also able to provide a positive update on Swales’ injury, saying: “They gave him gas and air and he managed to roll onto his back and his knee clicked back into place, and then they put him in the ambulance.

“But he’s now out of the ambulance and walking around in the bar! On a crutch, but he’s alright I think.

“Obviously, we’ll have to get a scan and see if there is any damage to his knee, but currently he’s not in any agony, so that’s great to see.”

Acorn will find out their next opponents in the competition this evening, with the draws for the Third and Fourth rounds conducted from Widnes Vikings’ DCBL Stadium by Tanya Arnold and broadcast live on BBC iPlayer from 6:30pm.

Third Round ties will take place on the weekend of February 10-11.