Knights edge Dewsbury to secure victory: Sunday 2nd May - Betfred Championship
Dewsbury Rams (14) 20-30 (14) York City Knights
The Knights made it back-to-back victories in the Betfred Championship on Sunday evening, securing a 30-20 victory over Dewsbury Rams at The Tetley’s Stadium – but what a battle it was.
An end to end tie where, for large parts, there was nothing between the two teams, was eventually secured by an excellent Matty Marsh try in the 77th minute and that was the only time either team really broke clear of the other.
Fresh from an emphatic win over Swinton Lions last time out, the Knights weren’t able to replicate that fast start and, after a Paul Sykes penalty, it would be Dewsbury who would make the early running with centre Matty Fleming scoring the first try of the match. Great work from veteran half-back Sykes and full-back Joe Martin worked the ball out to Fleming who crossed in the 17th minute, Sykes converting.
That score came after each Knights winger had chances, with Kieran Dixon pulled back for a forward pass in the set before Ben Jones-Bishop was deemed to have knocked on reaching for the line after superbly claiming in the air.
Five minutes after Dewsbury went into their 8-0 lead, though, the Knights did get over the line through centre Ryan Atkins’ second try in as many games, our number four chasing and grounding Dean’s grubber to the in goal. Left winger Dixon converted to make it 8-6 in the 23rd minute – but the hosts would extend their lead five minutes later.
Profiting from the Knights conceding a penalty which gave the Rams good field position, Dewsbury worked the ball to their right with Jason Walton and centre Adam Ryder showing good hands to provide winger Andy Gabriel a clear run to the line. An excellent touchline conversion from Sykes extended his team’s lead to eight points.
It was the Knights, though, who ended the half stronger. Making the most of field position conceded by Dewsbury errors and ill-discipline, back to back penalties deep in Rams territory saw Marcus Stock crash over brilliantly from close range in the 34th minute.
Winger Dixon would convert to narrow the gap to two and, in the last minute of the first half, he kicked a penalty to send the teams into the sheds at half-time with scores standing at fourteen apiece.
That man Dixon would ensure that the Knights started the second half much better than the first. A towering kick from Dean was dropped in his own 10m by Gabriel and, from the resulting set, the ball was worked left to Dixon who went over acrobatically in the corner to put York into the lead for the first time in proceedings. An excellent touchline conversion put the team in a six-point lead.
The pendulum then swung back in Dewsbury’s favour and, following a forward pass from Dean and a penalty conceded within our half, it provided the hosts with field position which forward Aaron Hall duly utilised, scoring a try which, after Sykes’ conversion, levelled the scores once again just after the fifty minute mark.
Dewsbury then mounted pressure, forcing errors and repeat sets, but their comeuppance was errors in good attacking positions. After riding out that pressure, the Knights hit back to go into the lead once more.
Connor Wynne, the full-back having been rather quiet thus far, delivered a great offload to the supporting Matty Marsh close to the line, the half-back scoring his first of the evening under the sticks. Dixon’s conversion put the Knights back into a six point lead just before the hour mark.
The end to end nature of the game came back to the fore in the following minutes, each team looking for what would be a big score. Dewsbury went close through Walton but great last-gasp defence from Wynne held the back-rower up.
Entering the closing stages of the game, and with both teams tiring, it was the combination of Dixon and Marsh who would seal the deal. Dixon, coming infield for a carry, forced his way through the Rams’ defensive line and was able to get a pass away to Marsh, again with a superb supporting run.
Showcasing composure and class, he drew in the full-back before weaving away, rounding the retreating winger and Martin to seal the Knights’ victory in the 77th minute. Dixon missed his first kick of the evening, but Dewsbury were unable to hit back and, with that, the Knights had secured back-to-back Betfred Championship victories.
Dewsbury Rams: Joe Martin, Andy Gabriel, Adam Ryder, Matty Fleming, Will Oakes, Paul Sykes, Liam Finn, Jimmy Beckett, Reiss Butterworth, Tom Garratt, Jason Walton, Dane Windrow, Chris Annakin.
Interchanges: Jon Magrin, Keenen Tomlinson, Aaron Hall, Sam Day.
Tries: Matty Fleming (17), Andy Gabriel (28), Aaron Hall (50)
Goals: Paul Sykes (4/4)
York City Knights: Connor Wynne, Ben Jones-Bishop, Liam Salter, Ryan Atkins, Kieran Dixon, Matty Marsh, Riley Dean, Ronan Dixon, Will Jubb, Yusuf Aydin, Danny Kirmond, Chris Clarkson, Jordan Baldwinson.
Interchanges: Danny Washbrook, Adam Cuthbertson, Marcus Stock, James Green.
Tries: Ryan Atkins (22), Marcus Stock (34), Kieran Dixon (42), Matty Marsh (58, 77)
Goals: Kieran Dixon (5/6)
Official Man of the Match: Chris Clarkson, sponsored by GMB Union