York City Knights grabbed their first two points of the Betfred Championship season with a convincing and resilient 30-2 win over Dewsbury Rams.
After an opening round defeat to Featherstone Rovers, James Ford’s side hoped to kickstart their season against Dewsbury side who lost to the Bradford Bulls.
Halfback Brendan O’Hagan and prop Ronan Dixon returned to the Knights team sheet following a stint on the sidelines, with new signing Sam Davis making his debut off the bench.
Sleet and rain poured down on both the field and spectators close to kick off which made for an entertaining clash.
It was the visitors who drew first blood through a penalty kick by former Doncaster man Matty Beharrell on the 12th minute to take a 2-0 lead, with both sides defences being on point with the Knights showing a lot of resilience.
Matty Marsh grabbed the first try of the game on the 27 minute mark following a break down the touchline by Jack Logan, with Logan passing inside to the waiting fullback Marsh who touched down to make it 6-2 to the Knights with Jamie Ellis converting.
As the temperatures began to drop at the LNER Community Stadium the defences of both sides remained strong with the score remaining a 6-2 as the half time hooter sounded.
The second half was a different tale, though, as York remained strong in defence but switched on their attacking dynamics with Jamie Ellis improving the Knights lead on 57 minutes after Pauli Pauli drew the tacklers and offloaded to the half-back.
Debutant Sam Davis, introduced around the fifty minute mark, went over from close range in the 62nd minute after making an impact from the bench.
Having returned to the matchday squad for the first time in 2022, O’Hagan then showed his class, putting a kick in behind the Rams defence and chasing the ball down well to score from his own play to all but seal the victory for the Knights.
Captain Chris Clarkson put the final nail in the coffin as he scored on the stroke of full time following a pinpoint kick from halfback Ellis. Ellis converted to the try to keep his 100% record with the boot intact.
Up next for the Knights is their first away trip of the 2022 campaign to Batley Bulldogs who came away with a 32-14 win over the Newcastle Thunder in their round two fixture.
KNIGHTS: Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, James Glover, Jack Logan, Will Oakes, Brendan O’Hagan, Jamie Ellis, Masi Matongo, Will Jubb, Ronan Michael, Chris Clarkson, Danny Kirmond, Jordan Thompson.
INTERCHANGES: Sam Davis, Jack Teanby, Ronan Dixon, Pauli Pauli.
TRIES: Marsh (27), Ellis (57), Davis (62), O’Hagan (74) Clarkson (80)
GOALS: Ellis 5/5
DEWSBURY: Calum Turner, Andrew Gabriel, Adam Ryder, Bradley Graham, David Dixon, Matthew Beharrell, Jake Sweeting, Ross Peltier, Dominic Speakman, James Beckett, Jason Walton, Michael Knowles, Christopher Annakin.
INTERCHANGES: Reiss Butterworth, Jonathan Magrin, Dale Ferguson, Harry Kidd.
GOALS: Beharrell 1/1