Knights defeated by Sheffield Eagles in Round Two: Sunday 18th April - Betfred Championship
York City Knights (6) 14-20 (18) Sheffield Eagles
The Knights fell to a second Betfred Championship defeat of the season after a strong Sheffield Eagles showing saw the visitors record a 14-20 victory at the LNER Community Stadium.
With three loanees debuting for the team in the shape of Joe Keyes, Lewis Peachey and Yusuf Aydin, James Ford did have more selection options than the defeat to Wigan Warriors, with many Knights returning to the matchday squad.
It was an ever-present, however, who almost opened the scoring when Will Jubb darted from dummy-half from close range only to be remarkably held up by Sheffield back-rower Joel Farrell in the opening minutes. Shortly after, and despite the home side dominating until that point, it was the Eagles who opened the scoring.
Oliver Davies broke through the middle of the pitch after an excellent support run to benefit from Anthony Thackeray’s short pass. Throwing the ball towards the wing around 15m out, Kieran Dixon was unable to gather as he slipped and half-back Thackeray benefitted, gathering the ball and diving over in the corner. Izaac Farrell began his flawless night of goal-kicking, extending the lead for Sheffield.
The Knights lost forward Marcus Stock to a head knock but, thereafter, the visitors began to assert some dominance in terms of field position with Thackeray and Greg Burns forcing goal line drop outs but half-back Farrell knocked on with the Eagles threatening.
The thirty minute mark then saw Kieran Dixon show the burning pace he has become known for. Catching a kick to his wing in the air, the winger promptly made around 80m, evading tacklers and going round full-back only for opposite winger Ryan Millar to excellently cover across the field, tackling Dixon just short.
That opportunity, however, wouldn’t be ultimately wasted and it was Will Jubb who benefitted from Brendan O’Hagan’s last tackle grubber, stealing the ball from the grasp of Farrell to ground. Dixon added the extras to level the scores.
Shortly after, however, Thackeray was again in for Sheffield. Working towards the Eagles’ right hand side, a York man bought the half-back’s show and go and he went over in the same corner as his first try. Farrell again goaled.
Minutes later, Tyler Dickinson scored Sheffield’s third try of the half, somehow barging over despite the attention of three would-be tacklers.
Resuming the second half 6-18 down, the Knights started the stronger. An immediately break in play saw Paddy Burns of Sheffield receive lengthy treatment after injuring himself in the tackle. Kieran Dixon reduced the deficit with his first try in Knights colours, benefitting from Rob Worrincy’s error in trying to field O’Hagan’s grubber in the in goal. Dixon would miss the conversion attempt and, shortly after, Farrell kicked a penalty for the Eagles to put them 20-10 ahead.
The Knights were called for obstruction as the team threatened Sheffield’s left edge and then went onto lose in form Joe Porter to injury.
Sheffield almost put the game to bed with around five minutes left. After Ryan Millar made good ground through the middle of the field, it was only Matty Marsh’s excellent tackle which stopped opposite number Mike Adlard rounding him to seal the win for the visitors.
Minutes later, Liam Salter closed the deficit with an excellent try, cutting inside and sliding over the line under pressure. Dixon’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful and, when O’Hagan knocked on threatening in the closing stages, the game was up for the Knights.
Consigned to a second home defeat of the Betfred Championship season, the Knights move on to travel to Swinton Lions on Sunday 25th February, KO 12:45pm. You can watch live on Our League by purchasing your Live Stream Pass for £4.95, rising to £10 on matchday, from rugby-league.com/livestream.
Season ticket holders will have to purchase their passes for this match as, like normal season tickets, your York City Knights season ticket holder code only works for our home league matches.
York: Matty Marsh, Ben Jones-Bishop, Liam Salter, Ryan Atkins, Kieran Dixon, Brendan O’Hagan, Joe Keyes, Ronan Dixon, Will Jubb, Yusuf Aydin, Sam Scott, Joe Porter, Marcus Stock.
Subs (All used): Danny Washbrook, Lewis Peachey, James Green, Adam Cuthbertson.
Tries: Will Jubb (29), Kieran Dixon (45), Liam Salter (76)
Goals: Kieran Dixon (1/3)
Sheffield: Josh Guzdek, Rob Worrincy, Mike Adlard, James Glover, Ryan Millar, Izaac Farrell, Anthony Thackeray, Scott Wheeldon, Greg Burns, Matty James, Oliver Davies, Joel Farrell, Aaron Brown.
Subs (All used): James Davey, Frankie Mariano, Paddy Burns, Tyler Dickinson.
Tries: Anthony Thackeray (6, 34), Tyler Dickinson (39)
Goals: Izaac Farrell (4/4)