HEWORTH ARLC made it a remarkable eight wins in a row with a stunning 22-14 victory at Leigh East.

The two points put the fifth-placed Villagers well on course for a top-six finish and a National Conference League division three play-off place.

Missing several first-team regulars, the Black and Whites defied the odds to put in, without doubt, their best performance of the season while - in an outstanding all-round team effort - there was a promising debut for under-18 player Ben Barnard.

After a breathtaking and scoreless first half, the hosts took a 2-0 lead with a penalty goal early in the second period before the Villagers went on to post four tries, which included a superb hat-trick for impressive centre and man-of-the-match Gareth Watson.

The hosts on their familiar 4G pitch produced a strong opening quarter, dominating possession and field position to put severe pressure on the Heworth line, but some resolute and sometimes scrambling defence kept them at bay.

As Heworth worked their way into the game, a strong break by Watson sent veteran full-back Mike Welsh on his way to the line but the Leigh defence recovered to get back and haul him down.

On the half-hour mark, some slick handling by Easts created an overlap on the right flank but a bone-crunching last-ditch Watson tackle on winger Aaron Noon dislodged the ball and prevented a certain score.

Heworth's resilience was further tested when, before the break, captain and stand-in scrum-half Fraser West had to leave the field with what could turn out be a season-ending shoulder injury.

The deadlock was finally broken three minutes into the second period with the home side going in front for the only time in the game with a penalty goal by substitute Adam Holland.

But Heworth responded immediately and a defence-splitting pass from stand-off Ben Dyson-Dent sent Watson crashing over for his first try, which Dyson-Dent converted.

Nine minutes later, they increased their advantage to 10 points when the stand-off slid a neat grubber kick through the home defence close to the line and followed up to touch down for a fine opportunist score which he goaled himself.

Easts hit back on the hour with a try by loose-forward William Ludlow but Heworth were back in the ascendancy six minutes later after the hosts lost a player to the sin bin for a late high tackle on Dyson-Dent. From the resulting tap penalty, Watson showed great strength to force his way over for his second touchdown, which Dyson-Dent improved.

The excitement continued and on 72 minutes home winger Ellis Noon crossed to reduce the deficit to eight points before Watson again shrugged off several defenders to score his hat-trick try with four minutes remaining to ensure there was no way back for Easts.

Noon's second effort in the dying seconds proved little more than a consolation.

In the NCL Alliance League, Heworth 'A' lost 30-22 to Dewsbury Moor Maroons 'A' at Elmpark Way. The Villagers' points came from a Tom Gargan hat-trick and one try for man-of-the-match Josh Hughes. Leon Watkinson kicked three conversions.

New Earswick All Blacks lost 30-12 at Bentley in Yorkshire Men's League premier division. In division two, York Acorn 'A' hammered Goole Vikings 60-22.