YORK Acorn's seven-match unbeaten run came to an end at Milford Marlins – who deservedly won 25-16.

The damage was done in the first half when the visitors were well below their best and found themselves 25-0 behind at the break.

That first period saw Acorn's attack lacking penetration and shape, whilst their quest was hampered further by a series of unforced handling errors that meant they were unable to build any real pressure on their hosts' try line.

Acorn were also well below their normal defensive best and Milford took full advantage.

Key to the hosts' dominance was their control of the floor and ultimately their speed at the play-the-balls.

Milford served notice of their intent as early as the fifth minute when back-to-back Acorn errors were compounded by a forced pass that saw Milford winger Matt Brocksom execute a one-on-one ball steal on the heavily defended Acorn attacker.

Brocksom then raced in from 35 yards for a try goaled by stand off Martin Loveridge to put the Marlins 6-0 up.

They doubled their lead on 11 minutes when scrum half Jake Payne capitalised on some sloppy defending at the play-the-ball to go over from the acting half role.

Loveridge was once again successful with the goal attempt to put the Leeds side 12-0 to the good.

Just after the first quarter had passed, Acorn were back behind the posts as Payne took advantage of some poor tackling on the blue and golds' left edge defence to score his side's third converted score.

Their next score came on the half hour mark when man-of-the-match loose forward James Barker brushed aside Acorn's normally solid defence with ease as he went in for what would prove to be a pivotal score.

Once again Loveridge added the extras and, with the half-time whistle looming, they edged into a 25-0 lead by virtue of a cheeky drop goal by the same player.

Fortunately for Acorn followers, the York side showed more glimpses of their true self in the second period, giving the hosts a more testing fixture then they had throughout those opening 40 minutes.

The visitors started the second half strongly, and on 43 minutes scrum half Lewis Brown evaded a high shot to score an unconverted try.

At 25-4 down Acorn had a sniff of a fight-back. But – despite a more evenly balanced attacking possession rate and the hard work of their industrious acting half James Mountford allied to powerful runs from prop forward Tim Stubbs – their next score didn't come until the 74th minute.

Brown put second rower Tom Hill into the gap before the latter threaded out a long range pass to winger Josh Parker who touched down in the corner. Stand off Anthony Chilton added the extras to cut the deficit to 25-10.

Acorn notched another converted score minutes later when Hill crashed over for a 77th minute try.

Chilton's conversion gave the away side a 25-16 loss and a reminder that you can't win games without the ball.

Acorn will be eager to bounce back to winning ways on Friday night when they travel to lowly Saddleworth.

A win would see them draw level at the top with Pilkingtons – for 24 hours at least – who surprisingly lost at Featherstone Lions.