Knights hold off brave Barrow fightback: Sunday 4th August - Betfred Championship
A first half hat-trick from returning fullback Matty Marsh helped York City Knights to a hard-earned 16-24 victory at Barrow Raiders today.
The in-form Knights have now gone seven games since their last Betfred Championship defeat, and remain second in the league – seven points clear of sixth placed Bradford Bulls – with just four games remaining.
Head Coach James Ford made changes to the team that won that thrilling game against Bradford two weeks ago, with Marsh’s return allowing Jason Bass to revert to the wing in place of Perry Whiteley who rested a swollen knee, and Michael Kelly replaced Sam Scott in the back row with Scott nursing a groin injury.
York got off to a great start when Will Oakes broke two tackles in midfield and sent the supporting Marsh racing away for his first try after just four minutes. Connor Robinson had a faultless afternoon with the boot, successfully converting all four Knights tries.
The Raiders hit back in the 13th minute when Tee Ritson beat Liam Harris to a well placed kick to score out wide, and Ryan Johnston missed the attempted conversion.
York extended their lead after 24 minutes with Marsh’s second try thanks to some enterprising centre play from Cameron Scott, and just after the half hour mark Marsh’s hat-trick gave the Knights an important 14 point buffer heading into the sheds at the break.
The Knights went 4-24 up just before the hour mark when Bass finished off a fine midfield break with a dart from dummy half. Liam Harris offloaded to Liam Salter who passed back on the inside to Marsh, and with Barrow’s last ditch defence all at sea, Bass took full advantage.
Barrow refused to give up and fullback Cresswell evaded two tacklers to score down the left in the 61st minute, with Johnston adding the goal.
The hosts continued what was a spirited second half showing when Jono Smith powered over for a trademark try, with Carter’s conversion reducing the gap to 8 points. York managed to regain their composure however and, with eight minutes left, the Raiders comeback had come too late.
The Knights now turn their attentions to the trans-Atlantic trip to Canada to take on Betfred Championship league leaders Toronto Wolfpack at Lamport Stadium next Saturday, 10th August. If you are not lucky enough to be able to make the trip, the match will be screened at a special viewing party at York St John Students Union from 4pm until 11pm, with the match kicking off at 6pm.
Tickets for the event are limited to 250 and are priced at just £5, with all proceeds going to the York City Knights Foundation. Call the office on 01904 876527 to book your place now!
Raiders: Cresswell, Cross, Hulme, Stack, Ritson, White, Johnston, Walker, Puara, Susino, Smith, Paisley, Walne. Subs (all used): J Carter, Duffy, Aspinwall, Séguier.
Tries: Ritson 13, Cresswell 61, Smith 72.
Goals: Johnston (1/2), J Carter (1/1).
Knights: Marsh, Bass, Hey, C Scott, W Oakes, Harris, Robinson, Teanby, Jubb, Blagbrough, Kelly, Salter, Spears. Subs (all used): Brining, Baldwinson, Dixon, Stock.
Tries: Marsh 4, 24, 32, Bass 57.
Goals: Robinson (4/4).
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Matty Marsh