York City Knights put in a superb all-round performance at the LNER Community Stadium as they scored seven tries to come away with a 38-6 victory and move up to third place in the Betfred Championship standings.
Saturday’s fixture against Thunder saw hooker Will Jubb celebrate his 100th appearance for the Knights and, after leading the Knights out, helped the Knights to the two vital competition points.
Excel product AJ Towse put in a performance to remember as he grabbed a brace of tries as the Knights ran in seven tries with Jordan Thompson, Ronan Dixon, James Glover, Masi Matongo and Joe Brown all finding the scoresheet for James Ford’s side.
It was the visitors who got the game underway as the sun shone down on the LNER Community Stadium.
Jordan Thompson grabbed the Knights’ first try of the afternoon after a war of attrition between the two sides in the opening fifteen minutes.
Sustained goal line pressure from James Ford’s side saw Thompson go over from short range next to the posts to give the Knights a 4-0 lead with Liam Harris converting to make it 6-0 at the fifteen-minute mark.
James Ford turned to his interchange bench early on with Pauli Pauli coming off for Ronan Dixon and it happened to be a change that made an impact moments later.
Once again, the Knights continued to put pressure on the visitors’ goal line and it paid off when quick hands found Dixon who powered his way over from short range in a similar fashion to Thompson’s opener. Harris slotted the conversion home at the 22-minute mark to give his side a 12-0 lead.
Momentum stayed with the Knights as they left the visitors thunderstruck with James Glover making a line break through the Thunder defence with ease touching down after a well-timed pass with the centre touching down in the 27th minute to make it 16-0. Harris, again, converted to make it 18-0.
The Knights continued to punish the Thunder with an expansive and stylish play at the 34-minute mark, as AJ Towse put on the afterburners after shrugging off multiple visiting defenders after the ball was worked out wide with accuracy with the teenager touching down.
Liam Harris missed his first kick of the afternoon to keep the score at 22-0 with the score remaining the same as the two sides headed into the sheds at half-time.
Ford’s side continued their dominant performance in the second half as Masi Matongo latched on to a pinpoint pass at the 43-minute mark crashing over the line despite the best efforts of four members of the Thunder backline on top of him. Harris converted to make it 28-0.
Winger Towse continued to put in a a sterling performance as he found the try line for the second time as the Knights scored the try of the game.
A break down the middle by Matty Marsh set up York’s field position nicely with the fullback passing inside to Levi Edwards who made a late offload to Towse, the winger crossing in the fiftieth minute to make it 32-0 with Harris converting to extend the Knights lead even further.
Newcastle managed to get themselves on the scoresheet five minutes later as Brad Gallagher went over from short range to make it 34-4 with Jake Shorrocks converting.
The Knights scored their seventh try of the afternoon after a wonderful break from Pauli Pauli enabled the ball to be shipped quickly out wide to Joe Brown who timed his run along the wing perfectly to touch down and make it 38-6 with ten minutes to go.
Chants of ‘James Ford’s Barmy Army’ could be heard from the stands as the Knights recorded their fourth straight Betfred Championship win and move up to third in the league standings.
YORK CITY KNIGHTS LINE UP: Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, James Glover, Levi Edwards, AJ Towse, Brendan O’Hagan, Liam Harris, Masi Matongo, Will Jubb, Pauli Pauli, Chris Clarkson, Danny Kirmond, Jordan Thompson.
INTERCHANGES: Sam Davis, Ronan Dixon, Marcus Stock, Jack Teanby
TRIES: Jordan Thompson (15) Ronan Dixon (20), James Glover (27) AJ Towse (34,50) Masi Matongo (43) Joe Brown (70)
GOALS: Liam Harris 5/7
NEWCASTLE THUNDER LINE UP: Jack Johnson, Gideon Boafo, Matty Costello, Isaac Nokes, Umyla Hanley, Jake Shorrocks, Dan Coates, Ted Chapelhow, Josh Eaves, Mitch Clark, Brad Day, Matty Nicholson, Nathan Wilde.
INTERCHANGES: Connor Bailey, Brad Gallager, Pat Moran, Lewis Peachey.
TRIES: Brad Gallagher (54)
GOALS: Jake Shorrocks 1/1
GEOFF PRYCE MAN OF THE MATCH: Will Jubb – Clinical Technologies