Knights draw a blank at table topping Leigh: Sunday 16th February - Betfred Championship
York City Knights fell to a 34-0 defeat to early pacesetters Leigh Centurions at a blustery Leigh Sports Village yesterday.
The Knights ‘enjoyed’ an enforced two week lay off thanks to Storm Ciara postponing last weekend’s game at home to Bradford, while Leigh routed Sheffield 58-14 and continued their free scoring form as yesterday’s game escaped the clutches of Storm Desmond.
Connor Robinson finally served his one game suspension, meaning Matty Marsh partnered Ben Johnston in the halves, with Will Sharp moving to full back and young loanee Elliott Wallis making his first competitive appearance on the wing.
Prop James Green likewise made his first competitive appearance in Knights colours, and centre Jimmy Keinhorst showed some good touches on his debut, with more improvement surely to come.
Kriss Brining also made the 17 after missing the season opener at Toulouse with a knock. Brad Hey, Joe Porter and Danny Washbrook all dropped out.
Former Knights Jordan Thompson, Ben Hellewell & Cam Scott all featured for Leigh, and 2014 York Player of the Year Ben Reynolds gave a Man of the Match performance for the Centurions.
The Knights competed well against their counterparts who fielded a hybrid team of part time and full time players and were still well in the game at just 10-0 around the hour mark, but three tries in the last ten minutes harshly blew the score out.
The game remained scoreless for the opening 25 minutes as both teams engaged in a tight arm wrestle, before a quickfire double from former Wigan back Liam Forsyth gave Leigh a 10-0 lead which they took into the half time break. The first came from a well worked overlap on the right edge, with the second coming from a perfectly weighted Reynolds kick at the end of the next set.
York worked try scoring opportunities for themselves throughout the game as Johnston and stand in half Marsh worked the ball around in the blustery wind, but on both occasions the last pass to Jason Bass found the touchline by a matter of inches instead.
The Knights continued to work hard well into the second half but suffered a hammer blow around the hour mark when a perfectly timed cut out pass from Reynolds wrong footed the Knights defence and Iain Thornley strolled over for a 16-0 lead.
The monumental defensive effort finally told in the closing stages when Leigh crossed three more times. Hooker Liam Hood snatched a typical effort from close range, before setting up Hellewell a few minutes later, and fellow hooker Matty Wildie darted over to seal a 34-0 win in the final minute.
There’s no let up for the Knights as their tough start to the season on their travels continues with another trip to a full time team in former Super League side London Broncos in the Fourth round of the Coral Challenge Cup at Ealing Trailfinders next Sunday (23rd February) at 3pm.
Tickets are available HERE, and for those who can’t make it to the capital, the game will be broadcast live on the #OurLeague app.
To watch the game anywhere live from your online device, download the Our League app on Apple iOS and Android or visit rugby-league.com to sign up for FREE – Select ‘York City Knights’ when signing up to help your club!
Leigh: McNally, Scott, Thornley, Sa’u, Forsyth, Reynolds, Woods, Mason, Hood, Ioane, Hellewell, Glohe, Addy. Subs (all used): Wildie, Thompson, Bienek, Gerrard.
Tries: Forsyth (25, 27), Thornley (60), Hood (70), Hellewell (75), Wildie (79).
Goals: Reynolds (5/6).
Knights: Sharp, Wallis, Keinhorst, Salter, Bass, Johnston, Marsh, Baldwinson, Jubb, Clarkson, Jordan-Roberts, Scott, Spears. Subs (all used): Teanby, Brining, Green, Stock.
Isaac Poad Man of the match: Jimmy Keinhorst