HEWORTH ARLC, after a much-improved performance, came agonisingly close to pulling off their first win of the National Conference League division three season before going down 20-16 to Woolston Rovers at Elmpark Way.

The Villagers trailed 10-4 at the break and 20-4 with half an hour remaining.

A spirited fightback however, saw them claw their way to within four points with 10 minutes left, only to miss several potential match-winning chances, leaving the visitors mightily relieved to hear the final whistle.

Woolston opened the scoring after six minutes with a try by winger Christian Taylor goaled by stand-off Aaron Barber.

Heworth responded five minutes later when a good passing movement led to wingman James Gill crossing in the right corner.

Rovers, with their much bigger pack creating problems for the home defence, increased their lead with Barber touching down after 23 minutes.

Five minutes before the break the visitors lost two players to the sin-bin but the hosts, despite going extremely close, were unable to press home their advantage and went in six points in arrears at half-time.

The Warrington outfit came out strongly in the second period and looked to have put themselves out of reach when centre Justin Becker went over for a brace of tries in the opening 10 minutes, Barber improving one to make it 20-4.

A runaway victory seemed on the cards minutes later when they were over the line again but the referee, after consulting a touch judge, ruled the final pass had gone forward.

The Black and Whites were not done, though, and showed plenty of character to produce their best spell of the match.

On 56 minutes, a neat offload by full-back George Elliott sent stand-off Ben Dent, in his first appearance of the season, plunging over to score and Elliott added the extras.

With 10 minutes remaining it was game on when scrum-half James Morland broke through the line 40 metres out and sprinted away before finding second-rower Liam Watling in support. He went in under the posts for Elliott to tag on the conversion.

In a nervy finale both sides were guilty of making unforced errors. The Villagers created the better field position but, lacking the necessary composure, a number of good chances went begging, allowing the visitors to return home triumphant.

Elliott was Heworth's man of the match with fellow former York City Knights players Dent, Morland and Watling in close contention.

New Earswick All Blacks enjoyed a rout in a run-out against Lambwath Lions.

All Blacks were due to play Keighley Albion in a Yorkshire Men's League Forty20 Cup group game but Albion forfeited the tie and, in a hastily arranged friendly, Jack Stearman's men saw off Lambwath 76-8.

The try-scorers were player-coach Stearman (2), Sean Malarkey (2), Sam Cooper (2), Josh Prenty (2), Ben Stoker (2), Will Holmes (2), George Hunt (2), Dean Smith and Scott Birch, with Matt Cannon adding five goals and Connor Calam one.