Knights go fourth after Swinton victory: Sunday 23rd June - Betfred Championship
By Joe Smith
An efficient performance from the Knights at Heywood Road saw James Ford’s men, coupled with favourable results elsewhere, climb to fourth place in the Betfred Championship table after their 26-12 victory over Swinton Lions.
With Hull FC loanee Cameron Scott making his debut, replacing Junior Vaivai in the left centre role following the expiration of his loan deal, and Jordan Baldwinson returning to the matchday seventeen for the first time in six weeks, there were two changes to the York team which demolished Rochdale at Bootham Crescent a week prior and it was the youngster Scott who opened the scoring.
After Swinton had built pressure on the Knights line with back-to-back goal line drop outs being forced – one despite Swinton’s loanee centre Craig Mullen claiming a try for the hosts – it was a deadlock-breaking score which came against the run of play. After Connor Robinson threw a huge pass wide to Perry Whiteley, the winger came inside to take the tackle. A quick blindside play allowed Sam Scott to feed 19-year-old Scott, the Bradford-born centre finishing impressively.
Four minutes later, Robinson thought he had extended the Knights lead with another try after he ghosted through a gap only for referee Mike Mannifield to rule it out for obstruction, much to the half-back’s annoyance. The 24-year-old would, though, extend the visitors’ lead with his boot after Rhodri Lloyd gifted the Knights a penalty for crossing behind a teammate on his own 20m. From just right of centre, Robinson made it 6-0 to the Knights. He would add a further penalty shortly before half-time after Frankie Halton was penalised for an unnecessary pat on Marcus Stock’s neck 40m out.
Matty Ashton looked to have opened the scoring in the second half after getting on the receiving end of a Jack Hansen grubber. There was confusion throughout the crowd as to why it was disallowed but a penalty was awarded to the hosts, possibly for obstruction in the build up. It was then York’s turn to have a try chalked off, again for Robinson who again ghosted through a gaping hole in the Lions’ defence. Sam Scott was penalised for obstruction shortly before winger Mike Butt had a try disallowed for the hosts for knocking on after beating Jason Bass in the air.
Ford’s men did, indeed, extend their lead on 58 minutes as Marcus Stock continued his rich vein of scoring form, crashing over from close range after fellow forward Scott was stopped just short. Receiving Andy Ellis’ short range pass, the former Hemel man scored his third try in four matches and sixth in Knights colours. That was the spark of a match-winning ten-minute spell for the Knights as they scored three quickfire tries to take the game away from Swinton.
After forcing back-to-back goal-line drop-outs, York were awarded a penalty after Lions half-back Lewis Fairclough botched an attempted short one. From that set, Graeme Horne spotted a gap from dummy-half which allowed him to ground under pressure after Josh Jordan-Roberts first took the Knights close. Impressive debutant Scott then punched a huge hole and galloped through it and, had he not lost his boot when in full flight, he may well have made it a debut double. However, after retrieving his fellow centres stray footwear, the impressive Liam Salter quickly returned to his right centre role to take advantage of Liam Harris’ excellent short, delayed pass to take the Knights well clear of Swinton. With Robinson converting each of the three tries, the Knights led 26-0 with just over ten minutes left.
Swinton then really started throwing the ball around as they chased the game and scored two tries late on to close the deficit. Ashton finished off the first of their efforts which was arguably the try of the match. After they worked the ball quickly from Luke Waterworth and debutant Scott Moore, the impressive Hansen put Jack Wells through a gap which the rangy second rower raced through. Drawing in Matty Marsh, Wells passed onto Hansen who looked like he was to be stopped by Robinson only to get away an excellent offload to full-back Ashton. Minutes later, Waterworth took advantage of a sleeping York defence, taking the tap five yards from the Knights line and burrowing over. Hansen converted both efforts before the hooter sounded with the final score at 12-26, a result which took us to fourth in the Betfred Championship table, leapfrogging Sheffield – who had gone fifth ahead of York on Friday evening – and Featherstone who were stunned at home against Barrow.
The Knights now turn their attentions to a big week of action at Bootham Crescent, starting with an AB Sundecks 1895 Cup quarter-final against Batley Bulldogs on Wednesday night (7.30pm). Tickets are priced at just £10 both adults and concessions and free for under 16s as ever. We then celebrate our Armed Forces in the city with another huge Betfred Championship game against Dewsbury Rams on Sunday (3pm).
Knights 2020 season ticket renewals are on sale now, with prices frozen until July 31st as we prepare for our momentous move into the brand new York Community Stadium. For more information click HERE.
Swinton Lions: Matty Ashton, Mike Butt, Rhodri Lloyd, Craig Mullen, Richard Lepori, Jack Hansen, Rob Fairclough, Gavin Bennion, Luke Waterworth, Lewis Hatton, Jack Wells, Frankie Halton, Paddy Jones. Interchanges: Billy Brickhill, Liam Byrne, Scott Moore, Samy Kibula
Tries: Matty Ashton (70), Luke Waterworth (77)
Goals: Jack Hansen (71,77)
York City Knights: Matty Marsh, Jason Bass, Liam Salter, Cameron Scott, Perry Whiteley, Liam Harris, Connor Robinson, Jack Teanby, Will Jubb, Graeme Horne, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Sam Scott, Tim Spears. Interchanges: Andy Ellis, Ronan Dixon, Marcus Stock, Jordan Baldwinson
Tries: Cameron Scott (15), Marcus Stock (58), Graeme Horne (65), Liam Salter (68)
Goals: Connor Robinson (27,36,59,66,68)
Issac Poad Man of the Match: Graeme Horne