Knights secure first win of season with Swinton rout: Sunday 25th April - Betfred Championship
Swinton Lions (0) 16-64 (34) York City Knights
An excellent attacking showing from the Knights saw James Ford’s men secure their first victory of the Betfred Championship season with a 64-16 win over Swinton Lions.
In perfect conditions for rugby league, the Knights scored eleven tries with winger Kieran Dixon scoring the first and going onto convert ten.
His opening score came in the early stages of the match with the Knights dominating territory. Riley Dean elected to run the ball on the last and, on the left edge, threw a pass to centre Ryan Atkins who drew the attention of both his opposite centre and winger. This created space for Dixon and, when Atkins got his arms through the tackle, he was able to pass wide to his winger who had the simplest of finishes.
That conversion attempt, from the left touchline, was unsuccessful but would prove to be Dixon’s only miss during an afternoon which saw him record a personal tally of 24 points.
Shortly after, Matty Marsh showed for the first time in proceedings his class. With the ball worked to his right hand side of the pitch, Marsh – in the halves this week – cut back inside would-be tacklers and provided a pass close to the sticks to Ronan Dixon. The prop then showed great footwork to beat Swinton full-back Geronimo Doyle to score his first try of the season.
The Knights’ rapid start saw Ford’s team score six tries in the first half-hour and Marsh would be the next to cross for a four-pointer. The former Hull KR man sold the Swinton defence a huge dummy and ghosted through the resultant gap to score.
Prop forward Dixon scored the Knights fourth try in the 20th minute, crashing over from close range following Will Jubb’s dummy-half pass, and afterwards saw loanee debutant Connor Wynne score a superb solo try.
The Hull FC man joined the Knights on loan this week but made his mark with a great effort, darting out from dummy half just inside our half and going through the line. With only the full-back to beat, Wynne expertly rounded Doyle and going onto score under the sticks to make Dixon’s conversion attempt a straightforward one.
Wynne’s performance at full-back coupled with Marsh’s four-try showing in the halves will no doubt give Ford food for thought moving forward, and it was the latter who extended the Knights’ lead. With Danny Washbrook and the returning Jordan Baldwinson working the ball right, Marsh put second-rower Danny Kirmond through a gap. He then returned the favour by passing to Marsh after drawing in the full-back to give the half an easy finish, rounding under the sticks, extending the lead to 34-0 after Dixon’s conversion.
That would remain the score until half-time and it would be the hosts who scored the first points of the second period. From the opening set of the half, Swinton made good ground and worked the ball right. Doyle put centre Luis Roberts through a gap and, close to the line, rounded full-back Wynne to get the Lions on the scoreboard. Half-back Jack Hansen converted.
Three minutes later, however, the Knights hit back with the halves linking up. With Kirmond going close on the right-hand side, Wynne passed infield from dummy-half to Marsh who produced a lovely grubber kick which Riley Dean, following in superbly, gathered well to score his second try in a Knights shirt.
From supplier to scorer, Marsh would go over next with arguably the try of the game. Just inside the Knights half, Jubb spun the ball to Adam Cuthbertson who, after drawing the attention of Swinton defenders, put fellow forward Baldwinson through a gap in the Lions defence. Baldwinson then supplied an inside ball to the supporting Marsh who beat winger Mike Butt for pace to score his third try of the afternoon.
Following that, Swinton’s afternoon would be made tougher with two sin-binnings in close succession. Firstly, Will Hope was shown the yellow card for a tip tackle close to halfway for a tip tackle on the impressive Marcus Stock. Nick Gregson closely followed him a couple of minutes later, sent for ten minutes after a shoulder charge in the back of Marsh after the ball had gone.
Between those two, Ryan Atkins scored the Knights’ ninth try of the afternoon with a straightforward score coming from Dean’s grubber to the in-goal.
The set following Gregson’s sin-binning saw that man Dean score his second of the afternoon, dancing inside the Swinton tacklers with some great footwork from Marsh’s pass to go over close to the sticks.
To the hosts’ credit, they did narrow the gap in the last ten minutes with two quickfire tries. Working the ball wide to their left, winger Mike Butt went over well in the corner after some good work close to the Knights line in the middle of the park. Two minutes later, Louis Brogan’s 73rd minute effort came off the back of some great work from full-back Doyle.
It was the Knights, though, who had the last word on a productive afternoon. Kieran Dixon claimed the ball after Hansen knocked on close to our line and the winger went deep into Swinton’s half. With the home defence scrambling, Danny Washbrook found himself in space and, after dummying to get through the line, provided Marsh with a straightforward finish under the posts. Dixon converted after the hooter sounded, the Knights recording a 64-16 victory and our first win of the Betfred Championship season.
Swinton Lions: Geronimo Doyle, Mike Butt, Mitch Cox, Louis Roberts, Sam Grant, Martyn Ridyard, Jack Hansen, Sam Brooks, Luke Waterworth, Louis Brogan, Rhodri Lloyd, Nick Gregson, Will Hope.
Interchanges: Tom Spencer, Paddy Jones, Sam Luckley, Paul Nash.
Tries: Luis Roberts (41), Mike Butt (71), Louis Brogan (73)
Goals: Jack Hansen (2/3)
Sin Bins: Will Hope (54), Nick Gregson (58)
York: Connor Wynne, Ben Jones-Bishop, Liam Salter, Ryan Atkins, Kieran Dixon, Matty Marsh, Riley Dean, Ronan Dixon, Will Jubb, Yusuf Aydin, Danny Kirmond, Lewis Peachey, Chris Clarkson.
Interchanges: Danny Washbrook, Jordan Baldwinson, Marcus Stock, Adam Cuthbertson.
Tries: Kieran Dixon (4), Ronan Dixon (7, 20), Matty Marsh (15, 30, 52, 80), Connor Wynne (25), Riley Dean (45, 59), Ryan Atkins (55)
Goals: Kieran Dixon (10/11)
Man of the Match: Matty Marsh