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Dewsbury Rams 8-14 York Knights - Match Report

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A late Nikau Williams try saw York Knights seal a dramatic 14-8 victory over Dewsbury Rams to book their place in the Fourth Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup.

The Knights trailed 8-2 at the break as Perry Whiteley scored the only try of the first 40 minutes.

Andrew Henderson’s youthful side - consisting of eight players aged 22 or younger - fought back to level the contest when Oli Field crossed the whitewash before Nikau Williams rounded off the comeback with a 78th-minute try.

York now host Sheffield Eagles at the LNER Community Stadium on the weekend of 24th-25 February for a place in the Fifth Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup.

There was little to separate the two sides through the first quarter and it took until the 19th minute for the scoreboard to be troubled.

Stand-in half-back Taylor Pemberton nudged York 2-0 ahead with a penalty goal after Dewsbury were caught offside defending Will Jubb’s close-range tryline scoot.

Dewsbury soon levelled matters with a penalty goal of their own, Calum Turner replying for the home side from the kicking tee.

Prior to the half-hour mark, the Rams found the tie’s first try when a left-side shift play saw the ball go through several pairs of hands before making room for ex-Knights winger Perry Whiteley to touch down in the left corner.

Turner was wide from the touchline but made amends in the half’s penultimate minute when landing a second penalty goal.

York came out strongly in the second half and tested the Dewsbury defence, who stood strong to hold up Josh Daley and put Brad Ward and Francis Coggle into touch down the right and left flanks respectively.

The Knights’ pressure eventually told when Nikau Williams delayed a short pass to Oli Field, putting the back-rower through the Dewsbury line from close range.

Pemberton added the conversion to level the scores at 8-8 heading into the final quarter of an hour.

Dewsbury were camped in their own half until Lewis Carr strode clear down the right touchline after Bailey O’Connor streaky break but veteran forward Jordan Thompson tracked back to make a vital try-saving tackle and force the error.

With two minutes left, the tie remained in the balance but Williams and Field again combined to produce the match-winning play at the death.

Williams put Field into some space close to the sticks before the former Leeds Rhinos man picked out an offload to send the half-back under the posts.

Another Pemberton two-pointer followed as York sealed their place in the Betfred Challenge Cup Fourth Round.

Dewsbury: O’Connor, Whiteley, Greensmith, Walker, Carr, Hookem, Turner, Beckett, Davies, Walker, Graham, Dawson, Collinson

Subs (all used): Field, Hird, Dixon, Russell

18th Player: Lawrence

Tries: Whiteley (28’)

Goals: Turner (2/3)

York: Donaghy, Ward, Bailey, Harrison, Coggle, Pemberton, Williams, Ta’ai, Jubb, Teanby, Field, Reynolds, Thompson

Subs (all used): Fitzsimmons, Santi, Daley, Price

18th Player: Brown

Tries: Field (63’), Williams (78’)

Goals: Pemberton (3/3)

Referee: Michael Smaill 


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