Knights hammer Fax to continue dream run: Sunday 17th March - Betfred Championship
York City Knights put last week’s late postponement dramas at Rochdale behind them by producing a top drawer performance to beat Halifax at a sunny Bootham Crescent – their fitch consecutive Betfred Championship victory.
James Ford welcomed forwards Tim Spears and Sam Scott back into the team for their first appearances of the season, but winger Perry Whiteley pulled up just moments before kick off with a migraine. For Halifax Ben White came in for former York player Ben Johnston in the halves, and Will Maher replaced Liam Cooper in the pack.
Despite letting Halifax’s kick off bounce out, the Knights got off to a dream start as Connor Robinson intercepted a probing pass and sent Judah Mazive racing home from 70 meters out. Robinson added the extras for a 6-0 lead after just two minutes.
The lead was quickly doubled when the returning Sam Scott hit the ball at pace just a few meters out and couldn’t be stopped, and when veteran Ben Cockayne sold an outrageous dummy before rounding the full back in the 15th minute, York were in dreamland at 18-0 up.
Shellshocked visitors Halifax composed themselves and got on the scoreboard with their first real foray into the Knights half when prop Dan Fleming crashed over by the upright. Ste Tyrer converted.
Robinson added a further penalty goal for the Knights before Halifax closed the gap to 10 points with their second try in the 26th minute – a wonderful finish from winger Shaun Robinson after great work in the build up from Scott Murrell and Tyrer.
Another penalty from Robinson extended the Knights lead to 22-10 early in the second half before Cockayne’s second try of the game, a jinking effort close to the line that Fax couldn’t handle. Robinson added a third penalty on the hour mark and the game by then was out of the visitor’s reach.
Jacob Fairbank grounded a neat attacking kick for a 68th minute consolation try as Halifax enjoyed a rare spell of possession deep in the Knights half, but York had the final say with the best try of the afternoon – Graeme Horne and Liam Salter combining in midfield before sending supporting fullback Matty Marsh home from 50 meters out to the sound of a jubilant 2,000+ crowd.
Tempers flared in the final moments of the game when a dangerous lift in the tackle from a number of Halifax defenders had Joe Batchelor in trouble and the handbags out. Referee Tom Grant put the incident on report and Robinson added a final penalty goal to confirm a comprehensive victory for this continually impressive York team.
The Knights now turn their attentions to fellow high flyers Sheffield Eagles as they look to continue their dream start to the 2019 season. Get your tickets online HERE!
KNIGHTS: Marsh, Bass, Salter, Jordan-Roberts, Mazive, Cockayne, Robinson, Blagbrough, Carter, Dixon, Scott, Batchelor, Spears. Subs (all used): Brining, Teanby, Horne, Porter
Tries: Mazive (2), Scott (7), Cockayne (14, 56), Marsh (75).
Goals: Robinson 9/9
HALIFAX: Champan-Smith, Sharp, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Robinson, Murrell, White, Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank, Larroyer, Grady, Barber. Subs (all used): Kavanagh, Morris, Moore, Maher.
Tries: Fleming (19), Robinson (28), Fairbank (69)
Goals: Tyrer (2/3)
On report: Dangerous lift (77)
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Jack Teanby