Knights edge Leigh in one point thriller!: Sunday 3rd March - Betfred Championship

Published: 4 March, 2019 - 4:35 pm

York City Knights produced another monumental defensive effort in the driving rain at Bootham Crescent yesterday to claim a thrilling one point victory over Leigh Centurions and continue their dream start to the 2019 Betfred Championship season.

The Knights now sit third on the Championship ladder thanks to four wins from their opening five games.

Head Coach James Ford made three changes to the team that won at Bradford Bulls last week, with Perry Whiteley replacing the injured Ash Robson, Josh Jordan Roberts returned from a concussion to replace Brad Hey in the back row, and Jack Blagbrough returned to the side to face his former club – Graeme Horne switching to loose forward in place of Dave Petersen.

There was strong involvement from Super League side St Helens as Leigh fielded four of their players on dual registration – Luke Douglas, Danny Richardson, James Bentley and former Knight loanee Aaron Smith – but it was the Knights on-loan St Helens star that drew first blood. Joe Batchelor raced home from 25 meters out after a well timed pass from Connor Robinson put him through after just four minutes.

Robinson’s conversion attempt bounced back off the upright, but added a penalty goal soon after and the Knights led 6-0.

Leigh Centurions levelled the scores just after the half hour mark, with Andy Thornley finding space to cross down the right edge from 10 meters out. Martyn Ridyard added the conversion, and things began to heat up in the torrential rain just before half time as Harry Carter and Luke Adamson engaged in a bit of handbags before heading into the sheds to dry off and cool down.

The second half became a complete war of attrition in awful conditions with the visitors enjoying the lions share of both possession and territory, but it was the Knights that edged in front around the hour mark with a well taken Robinson penalty goal from over 40 meters out. Ridyard again equalised with a penalty goal for the visitors in the 68th minute.

York regained the ball from a well placed restart though, and from the resulting rare attacking set Robinson snapped a well taken field goal to give the Knights a 9-8 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

The visitors continued to press but York’s resilience shone through – their incredible defensive efforts managed to repel no less than three attempted field goal attempts to hold on to a memorable victory.

The Knights now turn their attentions to a trip to Rochdale Hornets this Sunday (10th March, 3pm) as they search for a remarkable fifth consecutive Betfred Championship victory. 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, Whiteley, Bass, Salter, Mazive, Cockayne, Robinson, Blagbrough, Brining, Dixon, Jordan-Roberts, Batchelor, Horne. Subs (all used): Carter, Teanby, Stock, Porter.

Tries: Batchelor (4)

Goals: Robinson (2/3)

Field goal: Robinson (69)

Leigh: Ridyard, Pownall, Bentley, I Thornley, S Marsh, Richardson, Woods, Douglas, Higham, Brooks, T Adamson, A Thornley, Cator. Subs (all used): L Adamson, Cox, Smith, Spencer.

Tries: A Thornley (33)

Goals: Ridyard (2/2)

Referee: J Childs

Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Connor Robinson

Attendance: 2,020