YORK Acorn won a thrilling contest against one of their main promotion rivals – beating Milford 20-10 thanks to a gutsy second-half display.

Acorn, who held a 12-10 half-time advantage, had heroes all over the park as everyone put in a shift in both attack and defence.

That was especially true of the hosts' hooking duo of James Mountford and Lewis Lord, who jointly lifted the man-of-the-match award.

York claimed an early advantage in the National Conference League division one clash when Mountford exploited space behind the play-the-ball to stretch over for a try from the acting half role. Chilton missed the tricky conversion attempt but Acorn were 4-0 ahead.

Milford hit back almost immediately, on 15 minutes, when they built on a fourth-tackle penalty to engineer a good field position close to the Acorn try line. From there, second rower Dwain McCrae crashed over for a well worked try. Scrum half Jake Payne added the extras to edge Milford into a 6-4 lead.

The home side responded in style on 23 minutes when they passed the ball fluently from left to right to create the space for centre Martin Scott Pedersen to race over for another unconverted try and put Acorn back in front.

On the 30-minute mark, the hosts were caught out wide on their right edge defence by a loose ball/ kick through which ended with Milford's best player – loose forward James Barker – touching down for an unconverted try to give the visitors a 10-8 lead.

Once again Acorn showed real character to hit back with a try of their own, with Lord darting over from the acting half role to give the Blue and Golds a two-point lead with another unconverted try.

The York side managed to keep their line intact for the remainder of the half to go into the break with a narrow advantage.

The second half was one of the best 40 minutes of defensive intensity imaginable, with both sides defending their line brilliantly, albeit with an element of fortune along the way.

That saw the second period remain scoreless until the crucial 75th minute when the ever dangerous Lord snaffled yet another important close range try.

Chilton's conversion and a 79th minute penalty goal rounded off the Acorn scoring and brought them a deserved home win.

Throughout this outstanding contest Acorn played well, with centre Pedersen, second rower Woods and substitute forwards Tom Holder and Jack Byrne particularly impressive.