UPDATED WITH HIGHLIGHTS: Flawless Knights stun Barrow: Sunday 17th February - Betfred Championship
York City Knights put the rest of the Betfred Championship on notice today by producing a scintillating nine try performance against Barrow Raiders at a sunny Bootham Crescent.
It was the Knights first victory in 14 attempts against their Cumbrian opponents – a run stretching back to June 2007 – but that hoodoo was put to bed in emphatic fashion as York rose to third place in the Championship table after round three.
York – led out by veteran Ben Cockayne in his 350th career appearance – had showed four changes to the side that came back to win at Dewsbury last week – Winger Perry Whiteley began his two-match ban, forward Marcus Stock sat out with a minor groin injury, and hooker Will Jubb & centre Brad Hey were omitted. Winger Judah Mazive and hooker Harry Carter came in for their first appearances of the season, forward Dave Petersen made a try scoring return, and Knights favourite Joe Batchelor – returning on loan for a month from St Helens – set the tone for the afternoon with the first two tries of the game.
Barrow made three changes to the side that was beaten on the hooter by early pacesetters Sheffield last week, as Jamie Dallimore began a two-match ban and prop Ryan Duffy was out injured. Jake Carter was also omitted. In came young half Ryan Johnston, and forward Brad Crellin & hooker Nathan Mossop returned from injury.
There was just three minutes on the clock when Batchelor hit an effective line to cross from ten meters out, and his second try doubled the Knights lead when picking up a loose ball on halfway to race home.
A Connor Robinson penalty extended the lead to 14 points midway through the first half – Robinson had a faultless afternoon with the boot, successfully converting all ten attempts at goal.
Barrow enjoyed their best period of the game at this point when forcing a number of repeat sets deep in Knights territory, with only a number of last ditch tackles keeping the Raiders from scoring. York then landed a crucial sucker punch with two quickfire tries before half time – Dave Petersen scored the first under the posts off a Cockayne break, before Liam Salter finished off a wonderful attacking move up the middle of the park to take a comfortable 26-0 lead into the sheds.
Influential half back Connor Robinson stepped and crossed ten minutes into the second half for the first of two tries – his second coming on the hour mark after a classy dummy unlocked a tiring Raiders defence.
Barrow’s troubles were compounded with the second half sin binnings of Jarrad Stack and Nathan Mossop – both for persistent offending – as the Knights ran riot.
England Universities international Jason Bass capped a fine performance with a second half hat-trick, all three tries coming down the right edge thanks to a lethal attacking link up with Cockayne and full back Matty Marsh.
The Knights now turn their attentions to a trip to Bradford Bulls as they renew their rivalry after that memorable League 1 title race last year. Travel on the York Pullman supporter’s bus to any UK away game in 2019 for just £15 Adults (£10 concessions) – to book your place contact the office on 01904 876527 ASAP!
Knights: Marsh, Robson, Bass, Salter, Mazive, Cockayne, Robinson, Horne, Brining, Dixon, Jordan-Roberts, Batchelor, Petersen. Subs (all used): Carter , Teanby, Blagbrough, Porter.
Tries: Batchelor (3, 11), Petersen (35), Salter (39), Robinson (50, 61), Bass (56, 67, 76).
Goals: Robinson 10/10
Barrow: Ritson, Lomax, Cross, Spedding, Armean, Johnston, Charnock, Walker, Puara, Johnson, Smith, Stack, Walne. Subs (all used): Mossop, Aspinwall, Menoga, Crellin.
Sin Bin: Stack (49) – persistent offending, Mossop (65) – team warning
Referee: L. Staveley
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Ben Cockayne