Knights hold off plucky Skolars: Saturday 14th July - League 1
York City Knights overcame a potential Betfred League 1 banana skin in the shape of London Skolars at New River Stadium yesterday – but only just!
In hot and humid conditions which brought about a very slow ruck speed, the Knights struggled to find any fluency in attack in a largely frustrating afternoon – but four tries either side of half time were enough to secure two more valuable league points.
On the eve of the game Will Dagger pulled up with a calf strain, so half back Liam Jackson stepped in on the wing. Aussie centre Jake Butler-Fleming made a welcome return after six weeks out with a biceps injury.
Much of the first half was a largely uneventful affair as both teams struggled to build any pressure of note, and it was the Skolars who got the first two points on the board with a 33rd minute penalty.
Going behind on the scoreboard seemed to jolt the Knights into life and they responded with a quickfire double before half time – a fantastic pass out the back door from Butler-Fleming sent Judah Mazive racing home to finish, before Connor Robinson evaded the Skolars defence to score by the posts for a 2-10 lead heading into the sheds.
The Knights lead was extended eight minutes after the break when Robinson stole the ball 1-on-1 and got the ball to Butler-Fleming, who produced another fantastic offload to send Joe Porter over.
London Skolars hit back five minutes later when Vinny Finigan expertly took a cross-field kick from James Meadows to score. York then received a slice of luck when Joe Batchelor picked up a fumbled pass to cross for a fortuitous try.
The determined home team refused to give in though and after having a try ruled out for a forward pass, they made the breakthrough. An excellent 40/20 from Mikey Bishay led to a try for Meadows, and then veteran play-maker and former Knight Neil Thorman’s chip and chase kick put Bishay in for a well taken try in the corner to narrow the Knights lead to just 20-22.
Skolars continued to search for an unlikely victory but saw Lameck Juma sin-binned for throwing a punch at Ben Cockayne, allowing the Knights to ease the pressure and close the game out for a scrappy – but potentially vital – victory.
York now turn their attentions to the biggest game in Betfred League 1 so far this season, when they take on leaders Bradford Bulls at Odsal Stadium next Sunday, 22nd July.
The supporters bus leaves Bootham Crescent at noon and Blossom Street about 20 minutes later, and seats are just £10 each. Fans can also buy their match tickets in advance direct from the Knights, which are cheaper than match day prices and gives a % back to the Knights. To book just contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
London Skolars: Hall, Finigan, Nash, Juma, Yates, Meadows, Bishay, Martin, Thorman, M Greenhalgh, Mbaraga, Bryan, Chester. Subs (all used): Driver, Ross, Butler, J Williams.
Tries: Finigan (53), Meadows (67), Bishay (74).
Goals: Bishay (4/4)
York City Knights: Robson, Jackson, Hey, Butler-Fleming, Mazive, Cockayne, C Robinson, A Robinson, Jubb, Hawksworth, Batchelor, Kelly, Spears. Subs (all used): Carter, Dixon, Porter, Horne.
Tries: Mazive (35), C Robinson (40), Porter (48), Batchelor (62).
Goals: C Robinson (3/4).
Attendance: 300 (est)
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Jake Butler-Fleming