Pete’s Preview: Swinton
Knights fan and volunteer Peter Carbert casts his eye on this Sunday’s visitors to Bootham Crescent, Stuart Littler’s Swinton Lions.
So far, so-so good….if you’re a Swinton fan that is. The Lions have shown at this stage of the campaign they can hold their own in the league. Ok, so they’ve only picked up a single league win this season (a decent 33-26 win at Barrow) but barring an open day humiliation at Sheffield when they lost 64-10 they’ve been competitive in each match. They were desperately unlucky to go down 26-24 at home to Toulouse, were pipped 18-16 at Halifax and gave a good account of themselves in other matches – losing to Bradford (31-12), Dewsbury (38-24), Leigh (30-12) and Featherstone (24-12). At some point those competitive defeats will turn into valuable victories. Let’s hope that happens after today!
Ones to Watch: Harry Smith and Matty Ashton have started the season in fine form. However, just like the Knights, it’s a real team effort from Swinton – the sum of parts, rather than just one or two players.
Pete Predicts: Knights by 16 points!
York City Knights Milestones: Connor Robinson, Sam Scott and Ronan Dixon will all make their 50th appearances for the club if selected today.
Next fixture: Widnes Vikings (a) Coral Challenge Cup (Saturday 13th April, 7.30pm)
18th March 2018
York City Knights 26 Swinton Lions 12
LD Nutrition Stadium, Featherstone – Attendance 525
Rugby league used to be a winter sport, and a bit of bad weather certainly doesn’t deter York City Knights. Bootham Crescent succumbed to the snow, however with minimal notice our friends at Featherstone Rovers stepped up and allowed the Challenge Cup tie to be played at their impressively refurbished ground.
Pre match, as the snow fell, the tannoy played ‘Feeling hot hot hot’ to the amusement (bemusement?) of the gathered spectators! On the pitch, the Knights certainly started warmly, as Judah Mazive and Ben Cockayne went over in the first 8 minutes, Connor Robinson converting both. 12-0 up and the York fans were in a winter wonderland of their own. Another try, this time from ex Featherstone player Tim Spears saw the Knights open up a good 18-0 lead over their higher league opponents. Connor Robinson kept the scoreboard ticking, 20-0 up and this was turning into some performance. Back came Swinton, going over just after the half hour mark to claw it back to 20-6. Swinton posted the last points of the half with a penalty, 20-8 to York at half time with just 2 converted tries in it.
York messed up the restart, and though the North Yorkshire club held out admirably, the pressure told as Swinton went over again just shy of the hour mark, their impressive travelling support in fine voice. 20-12 and this was anybody’s game.
Cometh the moment, cometh the Mazive as he somehow got to a perfectly weighted kick from Ben Cockayne, touching down the striking orange ball to the delight of the Knights followers. This time there was to be no coming back, Connor Robinson adding another penalty and the match finished 26-12. The players and fans hurried off to warmer climates (eg the heated clubhouse!) and York were in the next round of the cup.
The Knights squad look to consolidate their position in the top half of the Championship when Swinton Lions visit Bootham Crescent this Sunday. Get your tickets online HERE!