Knights march on after Crusaders shut-out: Sunday 5th August - League 1
York City Knights produced a dominant defensive display on another hot afternoon at Bootham Crescent to keep North Wales Crusaders scoreless and notch up their ninth consecutive Betfred League 1 victory.
With the business end of the season fast approaching Head Coach James Ford once again opted to rotate his pack to keep his big men as fresh as possible – Adam Robinson and Sam Scott returning in place of Dan Hawksworth and Graeme Horne, who took up sideline duties as Ford started his two game ban.
Scott made an immediate impression too, as York started the game at a high intensity straight out of the blocks and were rewarded for their efforts with two tries from the strong running second row forward. The first try coming after six minutes as he ran a great line back inside off a Ben Cockayne pass, and the second came off the back of an enterprising one-two between Cockayne and Ash Robson that created enough space for Scott to complete his brace. Connor Robinson enjoyed a 100% success rate with the boot for the afternoon.
Crusaders to their credit worked hard to get back into the game after going 12-0 down in the first quarter, and managed to keep the Knights scoreless for the remainder of the half – though the fans enjoyed the fascinating battle in midfield between Knights fan favourite Adam Robinson and Crusaders Brad Brennan – with both men making a big impression on the game.
North Wales started the second half brightly and enjoyed some rare possession in the Knights half of the field, but York’s defence once again held firm before Cockayne’s clean break through midfield put the visitors on the back foot, and on the next play the ball was quickly shipped out wide to the left for Connor Robinson to cross.
An excellently timed tackle from Connor Robinson on Crusaders full back Tommy Johnson forced the ball free around the hour mark, and some quick thinking by Josh Jordan-Roberts on the free play was converted into points as his hack forward was grounded by a rapid Judah Mazive.
The Knights allowed the restart to bounce out of play, and from the resulting set it looked as though Crusaders had scored when Kenny Baker showed great skill to catch and ground a high kick, but the centre was unlucky to be ruled offside by the touch judge.
A fantastic last ditch try saving tackle from Joe Batchelor followed on Crusaders next attacking set to keep the clean sheet intact, and a well timed pass from Connor Robinson up at the other end sent Brad Hey – who appears to be finding his best form at the right time – over to end the game strongly.
York now turn their attentions to the long trip south to Llanelli next Saturday where they will take on the West Wales Raiders at Steboneath Park, looking to gain two more league points and hopefully claw back some of the leaders Bradford Bulls superior points difference, as the League 1 title race really hots up…
Knights: Chilton, Robson, Hey, Batchelor, Mazive, Cockayne, C Robinson, Dixon, Jubb, Ormondroyd, Jordan-Roberts, Scott, Edwards. Subs (all used): Ellis, A Robinson, Kelly, Porter.
Tries: Scott (6, 16), C Robinson (49), Mazive (59), Hey (78).
Conversions: C Robinson (5/5).
Crusaders: Johnson, Knox, Baker, Trumper, Bloomfield, Lyons, Smith, W Thompson, Ashall, Norman, B Walker, Dandy, Hudson. Subs (all used): Moore, Bate, Brennan, Fairhurst.
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Joel Edwards