Roses thriller as Knights edge out Oldham: Sunday 9th September - League 1
York City Knights extended their club record consecutive winning run to 13 games at Bootham Crescent on Sunday – but were made to work incredibly hard for it against a quality Oldham side.
The hard fought 10-6 victory was enough to keep the Knights at the top of Betfred League 1 after 24 rounds and on course for automatic promotion with just two ‘cup finals’ remaining in this thrilling season.
Head Coach James Ford named the same 17 that won at Workington last Sunday – the first time in 2018 that the Knights have fielded an unchanged line up.
After a tough arm wrestle in the opening quarter, York finally broke the deadlock when Oldham winger Lee Kershaw dropped a high attacking kick and Sam Scott hacked forward to score down the right edge. Connor Robinson missed the touch line conversion, however a penalty for holding down in front of the posts allowed Connor Robinson to take a gift two points and extend the Knights lead to 6-0 after 24 minutes
The rest of the half continued in the same vein with neither team giving much away in defence, until an NRL quality offload from Joel Edwards unlocked the Roughyeds defence to send Connor Robinson home from 20 meters out and extend York’s lead to 10-0 just before the break.
Both York and Oldham boast two of the meanest defences in the division, and those defensive qualities really came to the fore in this game – with only one further try scored in the second half.
A change in policy at the ruck from referee John McMullen caught York off guard and resulted in four consecutive penalties and a team warning being given, and the Knights were finally breached in the 72nd minute when Jack Holmes darted through a gap in some tired defenders.
This ensured a tense final phase in the game as play-off chasing Oldham desperately searched for a late winner, but York – led impeccably by captain and Isaac Poad Man of the Match Tim Spears – managed to effectively close the final seven minutes out and secure another vital two league points.
The Knights now turn their attentions to a trip down the M1 next Sunday (2pm) to take on Hemel Stags in the penultimate round of this thrilling Betfred League 1 season. Supporters bus places can be booked by emailing Neil Gulliver on firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP!
York City Knights: Marsh, Oakes, Hey, Batchelor, Robson, C Robinson, Cockayne, Dixon, Ellis, Horne, Scott, Jordan-Roberts, Spears. Subs (all used): Carter, Edwards, A Robinson, Porter.
Tries: Scott (18), C Robinson (34).
Goals: Robinson (1/3)
Oldham: Hooley, Kershaw, Reid, Holmes, Johnson, Crook, Hewitt, Neal, Owen, Joy, Briscoe, Langtree, Bent. Subs (all used):Davies, Jones, Wilkinson, Spencer.
Tries: Holmes (73)
Goals: Crook (1/1)
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Tim Spears
Referee: J McMullen