Knights outclassed by Halifax: Sunday 13th June - Betfred Championship
Halifax Panthers 30 (10) – (0) 6 York City Knights
The Knights were brought back down to earth with a bump after falling to defeat against Halifax Panthers at The Shay Stadium.
Following last weekend’s AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Semi-Final victory against Swinton Lions, the Knights were looking to build on that by bouncing back to winning ways in the Betfred Championship but were outclassed by Halifax.
A scratchy start from the Knights saw the team resist pressure from the hosts’ before ultimately cracking. Liam Harris, a former Knight who had a strong afternoon, was arguably the best player on the pitch and his run put Ben Kavanagh through a gap in the Knights defence to ground under pressure. Harris’ kick was unsuccessful but he would again be central as the hosts extended their lead.
Proving very capable of creating pressure on the Knights defence, repeat sets saw Halifax threaten and when Sam Scott fumbled Harris’ grubber, another former Knight Matt Garside would go over for our hosts. This time, Harris converted.
Despite having several periods in Halifax territory, through both good play and errors from our hosts, James Ford’s men were unable to build pressure or make turn that territory into points through errors of their own and the Knights would ultimately go in at half-time ten points down.
Close to the end of the half, Kriss Brining exited play with what looked like a recurrence of the hamstring injury which ruled him out for close to two months earlier this season.
Whatever Ford said at the interval, it seemed in the early stages of the half to have worked and, after threatening the Halifax line, Matty Marsh would go through a gap in the hosts’ defence to hit back. Kieran Dixon converted to narrow the gap to just four points.
Just after the fifty minute mark, however, Halifax hit back through another former Knight. Against the run of play, and with the Knights looking the most likely to score next, Nick Rawsthorne was the first to Scott Grix’s squirming kick to the in-goal. Harris’ conversion attempt from the touchline was outstanding and, after those two points, the Panthers went the length of the field to make it back-to-back tries.
Following a great dummy-half run from Wigan loanee Amir Bourouh, the impressive Grix darted through a gap and passed right to the supporting Brandon Moore after drawing in full-back Marsh. Harris added the two and, with the hosts on a roll, they scored another try on their right edge.
Dixon’s kick off was made dead by quick-thinking from Rawsthorne by putting his foot in touch before catching. From the resulting penalty, the Panthers rolled upfield and worked the ball right where, after collecting the bouncing pass, James Saltonstall – who had a previous loan spell with the Knights – dived over in the corner to extend Halifax’s lead. Harris couldn’t convert but Halifax boasted a commanding twenty-point lead and it was one they wouldn’t relinquish.
Despite efforts to threaten, Halifax’s defence stood firm and Adam Tangata added the final score of the match in the dying minutes, crashing over from Grix’s close-range pass on the hosts’ left.
In the 79th minute, both Bourouh and Jordan Baldwinson were sin-binned for their involvement in a coming together which saw players from both teams rush in.
Halifax Panthers: James Woodburn-Hall, James Saltonstall, Zak McComb, Greg Worthington, Nick Rawsthorne, Liam Harris, Scott Grix, Gadwin Springer, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray, Matt Garside, Ben Kavanagh, Adam Tangaga.
Interchanges: Amir Bourouh, Kevin Larroyer, Jacob Fairbank, Elliot Morris
Tries: Ben Kavanagh (7’), Matt Garside (15’), Nick Rawsthorne (51’), Brandon Moore (53’), James Saltonstall (56’), Adam Tangata (76’)
Goals: Liam Harris (3)
Sin-bin: Amir Bourouh (79’)
York City Knights: Matty Marsh, Ben Jones-Bishop, Liam Salter, Ryan Atkins, Kieran Dixon, Brendan O’Hagan, Riley Dean, Jordan Baldwinson, Will Jubb, Jack Teanby, Joe Porter, Sam Scott, Chris Clarkson
Interchanges: Kriss Brining, Tim Spears, Marcus Stock, James Green
Tries: Matty Marsh (43’)
Goals: Kieran Dixon (1)
Sin-bin: Jordan Baldwinson (79’)
Burflex Scaffolding Man of the Match: Matty Marsh – Sancus Utilities
Picture courtesy of Jordan Benjamin-Sutton