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Report: Knights 74-12 Workington

The Knights wrapped up this year’s Betfred Championship regular season fixtures with an emphatic 74-12 victory over Workington Town at the LNER Community Stadium to set up a Play-Off Semi-Final next weekend against Halifax Panthers.

With Ben Barnard included to make his debut, Bailey Antrobus, Ata Hingano and Ronan Dixon all dropped out from last weekend’s victory over Newcastle Thunder with Joe Porter and Brad Ward returning to the fold.

With Play-Offs already guaranteed, the Knights needed results to go in their favour to move up from sixth. Alas, those results didn’t favour James Ford’s men but a points fest will do the confidence of the team no harm.

That said, it was Workington Town – already relegated – who started the brightest with Malik Steele opening the scoring in the second minute after two penalties helped the Cumbrians up the field. Carl Forber converted.

The six-point advantage was wiped out in the tenth minute when Ronan Michael chased in Brendan O’Hagan’s grubber to score next to the sticks. Liam Harris converted – and the goalkicker put the Knights in the lead after taking play down the short side to give his team a 10-6 lead shortly after the quarter-hour mark.

With the Knights’ dominance growing, back-rower Danny Kirmond – already having seen an effort disallowed for double movement – added a third score which, following Harris’ failed conversion attempt, gave the Knights an eight point advantage – one which Workington would go onto eat into when Scott went over.

The scoreboard, reading 14-12 after Forber’s conversion, wasn’t truly reflecting the Knights’ dominance. Two late tries in the first period would see to that.

Matty Marsh and Joe Brown have linked up well in recent weeks and did so once again with the former Bradford man grounding in the corner. James Glover made it back-to-back efforts after breaking through the middle and going through to score. The centre converted both after taking over the kicking duties to give the Knights a 26-12 lead at the interval.

Whatever was said at the break worked as the Knights ran rampant in the second period. First, Harris went over from his second for one of the better tries of the afternoon that saw Marsh receive a tidy reverse pass from O’Hagan got his arms free to feed his half-back partner.

Glover – after converting – finished off another great effort after Kirmond passed wide after doing well to catch O’Hagan’s wide kick before Joe Porter got his name on the scoresheet in his final appearance at the LNER, racing onto a grubber.

Interchange hooker Tom Inman – impressive again off the bench – finished off a superb effort that involved a number of his teammates. His grubber to himself got him his second try in as many matches with Glover adding another conversion to get the Knights to fifty points.

Just after the hour mark, O’Hagan added his name to the scoresheet after darting through a gap from Inman’s pass. The scorer then turned provider with Harris finishing his hat-trick from O’Hagan’s bullet pass.

Chris Clarkson got in on the act in the 72nd minute, running a great bending run to evade tacklers to finish off a scrum play. Glover’s conversion – with the help of the post – continued his 100% afternoon with the boot to give the Knights a 68-12 lead.

In the dying moments, winger Brown went over for his second – another from a scrum play – with Glover’s conversion closing out the scoring at 74-12.

An emphatic showing in front of a buoyant fanbase, attentions now turn to next weekend’s trip to face Halifax Panthers in the Play-Offs.

York City Knights Line-Up: Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, James Glover, Brad Ward, AJ Towse, Liam Harris, Brendan O’Hagan, Jack Teanby, Will Jubb, Ronan Michael, Danny Kirmond, Chris Clarkson, Jordan Thompson.

Interchanges: Tom Inman, Marcus Stock, Joe Porter, Ben Barnard

Tries: Ronan Michael (10’), Liam Harris (16’, 45’, 68’), Danny Kirmond (26’), Joe Brown (37’, 78’), James Glover (39’, 48’), Joe Porter (51’), Tom Inman (53’), Brendan O’Hagan (61’), Chris Clarkson (72’)

Conversions: Liam Harris (1/3), James Glover (9/9)

Workington Town Line-Up: Ethan Bickerdike, Alex Clegg, Oscar Thomas, Joe Brown, Alex Young, Jamie Doran, Carl Forber, Rhys Clarke, Evan Simons, Stevie Scholey, Connor Fitzsimmons, Malik Steele, Marcus O’Brien.

Interchanges: Matty Henson, Ryan Scott, David Weetman, Jon Hutchings

Tries: Malik Steele (2′), Ryan Scott (32′)

Goals: Carl Forber (2/2)


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