Knights finish regular season with victory at Halifax: Sunday 8th September - Betfred Championship
York City Knights rounded off a fairytale Betfred Championship season by coming from behind to beat a spirited Halifax in the September sunshine at Shay Stadium and confirm a third place finish.
The Knights were backed by several hundred loud and proud fans resplendent in Hawaiian fancy dress helped create a carnival atmosphere in the stands as they celebrated one of the most successful seasons in recent York RL history.
Head Coach James Ford made 2 changes from the team that won at Leigh last weekend, with Jack Teanby and Liam Salter replacing Kriss Brining and Joe Porter.
York got off to a scrappy start, conceding a number of errors and penalties in the opening ten minutes, and Halifax took full advantage when James Woodburn-Hall placed a neat kick behind the Knights defence for Will Sharp to open the scoring. Ste Tyrer both the conversion attempt wide.
The rest of the first half continued in a similar vein as the Knights struggled to find their rhythm amongst some high pressured defending from the home team, and it was Halifax that struck again just before half time to extend their lead to 8-0, a well placed high kick from Scott Murrell was snaffled by Ed Barber.
Halifax continued their energetic performance into the second half and were camped deep in the Knights half when Connor Robinson produced a crucial interception to race 90 meters to score in the 51st minute. Robinson converted his own try to reduce the deficit to 8-6.
The Knights took the lead ten minutes later when a brilliant lofted pass from Liam Harris cut out a number of men for Matt Chilton to touch down in the right corner. Robinson nailed the touchline conversion to extend the score to 8-12.
York extended their lead to 6 points with ten minutes remaining as Robinson added a penalty goal from 30 meters out as both teams occasionally allowed their aggression to boil over in the closing stages.
Frustrations came to a climax in the last few minutes when Fax substitute Brandon Moore was sent off for dissent, and the Knights managed to see the game out for their record 19th victory of the season.
The Knights now turn their attentions to a tough trip to the south of France to take on second placed Toulouse Olympique in week one of the Betfred Championship play offs. Kick off is next Saturday (14th September) at 3pm and the game will be televised live on Sky Sports.
HALIFAX: Woodburn-Hall, Sharp, Tyrer, Barber, McGrath, Murrell, Johnston, Hirst, Kaye, Fairbank, Cooper, Kavanagh, Larroyer. Subs (all used): Fleming, Davies, Moore, Saltonstall.
Tries: Sharp (8), Barber (39).
Goals: Tyrer (0/2).
Sent off: Moore (77 – dissent).
KNIGHTS: Marsh, Chilton, Bass, Hey, Oakes, Robinson, Harris, Baldwinson, Jubb, Stock, Scott, Salter, Spears. Subs (all used): Teanby, Horne, Dixon, Kelly.
Tries: Robinson (51), Chilton (58).
Goals: Robinson (3/3)
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Liam Salter