Barrow Island Coach Joe Elliott was more than pleased with his side despite York Acorn going into the next round of the Corals Challenge cup.

Away from home, Island were up against a York side that won promotion to the Premier Division of the National Conference League last season.

Elliott said: “We went into the game minus five front rowers in Matt Parkinson. Carl McBain, Joe Mallinson, Callum Nelson and Jack Sutherland. Our front three were all relatively young in Rhys Bartlett, Shane Sanderson and Ryan Clegg. We had no rotation in the front row and you need that, especially against one of the top sides in the NCL

“You need that freshness and we didn’t have it whilst they had that pleasure.We were in the game almost to half time but in the second half they got on top.

Island came up against much sterner opposition than in round one, when they crushed Rhondda Outlaws 84-6 at Rating Lane, but it was a good experience for the Island, according to Elliott.

He said: “There were a lot of positives we took from the game and as a coaching staff we know we are not that far away. I thought our performance was very good but York showed us what the level is like in the Premier Division.

“They pride themselves on their fitness levels and it showed, they’re very quick in all aspects of their play and in the second half, with us not being able to have strength to rotate the pack as such, they took control.York officials told us they expect to go unbeaten at home this year.

“We now have a break before taking on Walney in the first round of the Barton Townley Cup on February 15th then the following two weeks we have friendlies with Seaton and Wath Brow, all at Rating Lane, before starting our season in the NCL an away game at Dewsbury Celtic on March 7.”