Injury hit Knights edged out at Barrow: Sunday 20th August - League 1
By Oli Breslin
A weakened York City Knights suffered a narrow 26-19 defeat to Barrow Raiders at Craven Park on Sunday.
Coach James Ford was forced to make six changes from the side that defeated Workington Town last week, however the Knights held a slender 7-6 advantage at the break. The Cumbrians proved too strong in the second-half though, as York succumbed to their second defeat of the Kingstone Press League 1 Super 8’s.
Dee Foggin-Johnston gave York an early lead; and Brad Hey scored two late tries while Connor Robinson racked up seven points in vein for the Knights.
Foggin-Johnston spectacularly dived over in the left corner to score the first points of the game, but the Raiders hit back immediately through Brett Carter down York’s right-edge.
The hosts racked up the pressure and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory, frequently asking questions of the Knights’ defence which held up well under the pressure
Jake Butler-Fleming almost scored after a huge Connor Robinson bomb was dropped by Luke Cresswell, leading to a rare repeat set, however, the Hull KR loanee fumbled the ball just before grounding it over the Barrow try line.
Approaching half-time, Foggin-Johnston rose to claim a high kick at the other end before Jarrad Stack dropped heavily on the grounded winger and appeared to lead with his forearm, resulting in a flash point in what was a very physical game.
Two minutes before the interval Connor Robinson slotted over a 40-metre penalty, and on the hooter he added a drop goal to send the Knights into the sheds with a narrow lead.
But Barrow responded strongly at the start of the second half; Karl Ashall forced his way over under the sticks, before Carter added his second try of the afternoon soon after. Lewis Charnock goaled both and then added a penalty after Jonny Pressley was penalised for holding down, giving the hosts a 20-7 buffer.
The Knights were starved of the ball for much of the second half, but they looked dangerous when they were in possession. Joe Batchelor almost reduced the arrears but was held up just short of the try line.
The deficit was cut to seven when Brad Hey collected a knock down by Butler-Fleming from a Connor Robinson kick with 10 minutes remaining.
But prop Joe Bullock burst through the York defence to kybosh any hopes of a dramatic comeback, Charnock’s conversion made it 26-13 with four minutes remaining.
However the Knights refused to give in; forcing a knock on from the restart before scoring from the resulting scrum. Hey finished off a neat, flowing move down the right, but it was too little too late as the full-time hooter sounded soon after.
The Super 8s now enjoy a week off while the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final at Wembley takes centre stage next Saturday, and James Ford will hope the timely break will help see a number of players ready to return to action against Doncaster at Bootham Crescent on Sunday 3rd September.