Knights slay Bears to keep the pressure on: Sunday 29th July - League 1

Published: 29 July, 2018 - 6:56 pm

York City Knights allayed any fears of a post-Bradford comedown by producing a professional performance at Bootham Crescent today, running in 13 tries past a spirited Coventry Bears in blustery conditions.

Opting to keep things fresh after last week’s epic battle at Odsal, James Ford handed three players their York debuts with new signings Joel Edwards and Josh Jordan-Roberts starting in the back row, and local lad Matt Chilton starting at full back. Pack men Dan Hawksworth, Ronan Dixon and Mike Kelly also returned, and hooker Will Jubb took a spot on the bench fresh from his England Students exploits.

It was strong running debutant Jordan-Roberts that broke the deadlock after just five minutes thanks to a delayed pass from Connor Robinson creating space. Robinson missed his first conversion, and had an unusual off day with the boot in testing conditions – only converting 8 goals from 13 attempts.

Prop Ronan Dixon extended the Knights lead by crashing over the line with 11 minutes gone as the Knights enjoyed the lions share of territory and possession. Coventry Bears were keen and competed well for the first quarter, but four more Knights tries before the break effectively put the result to bed by half time. First, two tries in as many minutes with Graeme Horne involved in both – first scoring, then assisting Robinson – stretched the lead to 22-0. A fortuitous try from Joe Batchelor then followed, before Mike Kelly grounded a smart kick from Ben Cockayne for a 34-0 lead going into the sheds at half time.

Another attacking Cockayne kick ricocheted into the hands of Batchelor for his second try five minutes into the second half, before Brad Hey beat the Coventry defence to a Robinson kick to score.

Two more tries in as many minutes via Joe Batchelor’s hat trick and a well taken opportunity from Ash Robson then followed as the Knights began to cut loose. Batchelor took full advantage of playing in the centres by strolling in for his fourth try of the afternoon on 67 minutes, before Jordan-Roberts claimed his second try by picking up a dropped ball from Bears full back Jason Bass. Home debutant Jack Ormondroyd rounded off the Knights scoring in the 74th minute by supporting a Joe Porter break up the middle.

Coventry Bears to their absolute credit refused to give in all afternoon and were rewarded with a deserved try just moments before the full time whistle. Cockayne tried to spring a trap by opting to kick on the second tackle, which Bears full back Bass read superbly and raced 70 meters home to score down the left edge. Jubb’s England Students team mate Ben Stead added the touch line conversion to give the loyal Bears supporters late consolation.

The Knights now turn their attentions to the visit of North Wales Crusaders to Bootham Crescent next Sunday, 5th August (3pm) as the race for the Betfred League 1 title continues at pace…


Knights: Chilton, Robson, Hey, Batchelor, Mazive, Cockayne, C Robinson, Dixon, Ellis, Horne, Jordan-Roberts, Kelly, Edwards. Subs (all used): Jubb, Hawksworth, Porter, Ormondroyd.

Tries: Jordan-Roberts (5, 67), Dixon (11), Horne (22), C Robinson (23), Batchelor (28, 45, 61, 67), Kelly (35), Hey (55), Robson (62) Ormondroyd (74).

Conversions: C Robinson (8/13).

Coventry: Bass, Freeman, Ogden, Pearce-Paul, Morley-Samuels, Rice-Wilson, Stead, Vitalini, Williams, Lloyd-Jones, Sherratt, Barratt, Bateman. Subs (all used): Davis, Geurtjens, Mason, Gover.

Tries: Bass (78).

Conversions: Stead (1/1).

Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Matt Chilton

Attendance: 1104