Barrow Island’s first tilt at the Coral Challenge Cup in 15 years came to an end last Saturday, as they were defeated 34-14 by York Acorn in the second round.

Island, who play two divisions lower than their hosts in the National Conference League, were well in the game at 8-6 down at half time before Acorn produced a much performance in the second half.

The crucial period of the game came either side of the break, when they went from 4-6 down to eventually taking a match winning 24-6 lead by the 55-minute mark.

The first half was a tough tight contest , which always had York Acorn the more likely to put points on the board, but periods of poor handling, caused by a combination of forced passes and unforced errors, saw the hosts fail to push home their advantage.

The game’s first points came on seven minutes when a Antony Chilton kick out wide was grounded for an unconverted try by winger Luke Swales.

The game then became a battle of committed defending until the 25th minute, when York were guilty of poor defending on their own line in allowing Island hooker Shane Sanderson to walk over from the play the ball. Sam Jones added the goal to put the visitors into a 6-4 lead.

Crucially for York Acorn, they managed to get the next score just before half time when centre Ryan Gallacher was able to scythe through to score an unconverted try after 37 minutes.

The opening quarter of the second half was dominated by the hosts, who got the ball rolling when second rower Haiden Barber crossed to stretch their lead to 12 - 6.

Minutes later the home crowd were celebrating once more, when Swales crashed over in the corner despite the attentions of several would be tacklers, with Chilton this time successful with the conversion

It was soon 24-6, when on 55 minutes acting half Lewis Lord nipped over from close range, but Acorn were given a reminder on 63 minutes that this game wasn’t completely done and dusted.

Island winger Jonathon Walsh capitalised on an attacking kick out wide followed by some indifferent defending - to notch an unconverted try for the visitors that cut the deficit to 24-10.

Acorn’s response was powerful to say the least, as prop Tim Stubbs somehow managed to free his hands as he was crashing over to score a well deserved try.

Nathan Sneesby then pulled a try back for Island after slipping through the tackles, but York Acorn had the final in the final minute when Lewis Lord stole the ball in the Barrow 20 before racing over unopposed.