Knights stun Widnes in sensational second half: Monday 22nd April - Betfred Championship
A stunning second half performance saw York City Knights come from behind to beat Widnes Vikings at a sun drenched Bootham Crescent on Easter Monday, setting a new club record of seven wins in a Betfred Championship season after just ten games.
Knights Head Coach James Ford made four changes to the team that lost to Featherstone on Good Friday, with Judah Mazive, Nick Rawsthorne, Dave Petersen and Jack Blagbrough all returning. Lewis Heckford was omitted, while Perry Whiteley and forwards Josh Jordan-Roberts and Ronan Dixon were injured.
Widnes drew first blood after ten minutes when second row Sam Wilde burrowed over from dummy half, with Jack Owens converting for a 6-0 lead, and that was the only score in a first half that struggled to find a rhythm due to a frustrating number of ruck penalties. The hot temperature and the fact that it was the second game of the weekend was perhaps a contributing factor.
The Vikings extended their lead to 0-10 ten minutes into the second half with a well worked try, some good shape out to the right edge saw Ryan Ince cross in front of the large number of travelling fans in the David Longhurst stand.
It was an hour before the Knights got on the board through a good move from right to left that created space for Jason Bass to score on the wing, and from the restart Jack Blagbrough broke through the Widnes defence in midfield before offloading to Matty Marsh, who sent Rawsthorne home for a sensational long range try. Robinson added the extras from the touchline to level the score at 10-10.
As the game entered the closing stages it was the part-time Knights that looked the more energetic rather than the full-time Vikings – constantly making plenty of meters up the pitch, cheered on by a loud home crowd that sensed something special.
York took the lead for the first time in the 72nd minute when Connor Robinson evaded the Vikings marker defenders and snapped a field goal, before another rampaging run up field from Blagbrough laid the platform for Robinson to step and cross to score on the next play and extend the lead to 15-10 with less than five minutes remaining.
The Knights successfully repelled the last few Viking attacks before Robinson added a further penalty goal as the hooter sounded to wild celebrations in the Easter sunshine.
York now face a tough trip to the south of France this weekend to take on second placed Toulouse Olympique as the Betfred Championship really heats up…
Knights: Marsh, Mazive, Rawsthorne, Salter, Bass, Robinson, Jubb, Horne, Petersen, Teanby, Scott, Stock, Spears. Subs (all used): Baldwinson, Blagbrough, Brining, Hey.
Tries: Bass (61), Marsh (63), Robinson (75).
Goals: Robinson (2/4)
Field Goal: Robinson (72)
Vikings: Owens, Ince, Hatton, Brand, Freeman, Roby, Lyons, E Chapelhow, Johnstone, Cahill, Wilde, Walker, Leuliau. Subs (all used): J Chapelhow, Speakman, Walsh, Davies.
Tries: Wilde (10), Ince (50).
Goals: Owens (1/2).
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Matty Marsh