Awesome Knights go top after hammering Hunslet!: Sunday 19th August - League 1
York City Knights produced another outstanding performance at Bootham Crescent to beat old rivals Hunslet 48-6 and return to the top of the Betfred League 1 table with just four rounds remaining.
It was the Knights’ eleventh consecutive victory and saw James Ford’s mean leapfrog Bradford Bulls at the summit, following their 18-24 defeat to Workington Town at Odsal.
Ford made three changes to the team that earned a world record away victory at West Wales last weekend; dual registered stars Will Oakes and Matty Marsh returned to the team, along with captain Tim Spears.
The tone was set straight from the kick off – a towering kick was spilled by Hunslet as the Knights defence rushed up, and on the second tackle after the resulting scrum Graeme Horne powered his way over. Connor Robinson added the first of 8 conversions from 9 attempts in the game and York lead 6-0 with less than 60 seconds on the clock.
York extended their lead to 12-0 after 20 minutes when some well worked play from Connor and Josh Jordan-Roberts saw Oakes cross down the left edge.
Things went from bad to worse for Hunslet as Connor stretched the lead to 14 points with a penalty in front of the posts, and Jack Walton was sent to the sin bin for repeated infringements as the visitors struggled to match the Knights relentless pace and intensity.
Ben Cockayne then grounded his own dangerous kick before Jack Ormondroyd crashed over late in the half to cap a near flawless opening 40 minutes, the Knights taking a well deserved 26-0 lead into the sheds.
York nearly let a 0-24 lead slip away in the reverse fixture at the South Leeds stadium back in May, but any fears of a repeat performance were quickly extinguished ten minutes after the break – a scintillating break from Ash Robson saw the winger beat four defenders before sending Matty Marsh racing home.
The Parksiders claimed their only try of the match on 52 minutes, when former Knight Tommy Brierley squeezed in down the right edge, and Sanderson converting, but a ‘Hollywood’ finish on the left edge saw Oakes grab a spectacular second try on the hour mark to soon restore order. With Hunslet pressing, a dropped ball saw the Knights go the full length in just two plays in the 66th minute – excellent work from Joe Batchelor sending Robson home.
The outstanding Connor Robinson then capped yet another fine display by scooping up a loose ball on his own try line and racing the full 100 meters to score. After taking a minute to catch his breath, he incredibly added the conversion from the touchline – while the majority of the 1,491 crowd rejoiced at the Knights once again leading this thrilling League 1 title race.
James Ford has awarded the squad a well deserved week off ahead of next week’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, and will return to training refreshed and focussed on the huge trip to Workington on Sunday, 2nd September. Supporters bus places can be booked by emailing Neil Gulliver on firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP!
Knights: Marsh, Robson, Batchelor, Hey, Oakes, Cockayne, C Robinson, A Robinson, Jubb, Horne, Jordan-Roberts, Scott, Spears. Subs (all used): Carter, Edwards, Ormondroyd, Porter.
Tries: Horne (1), Oakes (20, 60), Cockayne (32), Ormondroyd (37), Marsh (50), Robson (66), C Robinson (77).
Conversions: C Robinson (8/9).
Try: Brierley (52).
Conversion: Sanderson (1/1).
Sin-binned: Walton 26.
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Harry Carter
Photo credit: Craig Hawkhead