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Report: London 34-36 Knights

York City Knights came from behind to earn a dramatic victory against London Broncos at the LNER Community Stadium as AJ Towse and Liam Harris scored braces to give James Ford's side a 36-34 win.

The Knights faced the Broncos with just a two-day turnaround as their Betfred Championship campaign continued.

Tries from Liam Harris, Jordan Thompson, Matty Marsh, and AJ Towse saw the Knights come from 6-18 down at half-time to record back-to-back victories having defeated Sheffield Eagles on Thursday.

The Broncos started the fixture the better side, taking the lead in the tenth minute when Lewis Bienek was the recipient of a quick play the ball before bundling over from close range. Leyland converted making it 0-6.

The momentum continued to stay with the Broncos with second-rower Bradley Foster powering his way over on the left edge.

York showed impeccable character as they applied sustained pressure on the Broncos’ defensive line with half-back Liam Harris scuttling over to bring his try-scoring tally into double figures. Ellis converted to make it 6-10.

A penalty kick from Oliver Leyland saw the Broncos increase their lead to 6-12 with Daniel Hoyes scoring a try in the 33rd minute after a kick from Paul Ulberg was not dealt with well by the Knights’ defence, giving the visitors a 16-6 lead with Leyland kicking the conversion.

Half time could not come soon enough as the Knights trailed 6-18 when the hooter sounded.

It took just eight minutes second-half minutes for the Knights to put a dent in the Broncos armour with Jamie Ellis controlling the attack well with loose forward Thompson powering his way over the try line after collecting an inside pass. Ellis converted to make it 12-18.

Sixty seconds passed and the Knights were once again over the try line after Pauli Pauli ran through the Broncos defence, waiting patiently for full-back Matty Marsh to make his move with the former NRL man offloading to Marsh who put on the afterburners to draw James Ford’s side to within a kick of London. Ellis converted to make tie the scores.

The Broncos, however, hit back and scored two quick back-to-back tries with Iliess Macani and Alex Walker both touching down for the visitors in the 55th and 57th minute to take an 18-26 lead. Leyland missed the first but kicked the second of the two conversions to give London a ten-point lead.

AJ Towse gave the Knights hope of finding two points as he reached out and caught a looping pass from half-back Liam Harris to make it 24-28 after Ellis converted.

With around nine minutes remaining, one of the biggest moments of the topsy-turvy encounter came into play when referee James Vella handed a yellow card to London debutant Brock Pelligra. With Marsh taking the ball from a deep Broncos kick, the tackle looked to almost be complete before the Australian half-back lifted our full-back’s legs with a tip tackle.

Vella sent him to the sin-bin and the Knights went on to make that man advantage count to snatch the win.

Towse once again found the try line after being found in space on the right flank before Harris scored his second, finding his way through a gap close to the Broncos’ line before forcing the ball to the ground. Ellis completed his 100% afternoon with the boot and, despite a 79th minute converted try from Jude Ferreira, the clock was on the Knights’ side.

The hooter sounded after London chanced their arm and, despite being nowhere near their best, the Knights made it back-to-back wins over the Jubilee Weekend.

YORK CITY KNIGHTS LINE UP: Matty Marsh, Brad Ward, James Glover, Jacob Ogden, AJ Towse, Liam Harris, Jamie Ellis, Pauli Pauli, Sam Davis, Joe Porter, Toby Warren, Bailey Antrobus, Jordan Thompson

INTERCHANGES: Chris Clarkson, Marcus Stock, Daniel Kirmond, Myles Harrison

TRIES: Liam Harris (24, 76), Jordan Thompson (48), Matty Marsh (50), AJ Towse (67, 72)

GOALS: Jamie Ellis 6/6

LONDON BRONCOS LINE UP: Alex Walker, Paul Ulberg, Daniel Hoyes, Jude Fefferira, Iliess Macani, Oliver Leyland, Brock Pelligra, Lewis Bienek, Dean Parata, Jordan Williams, Max Allen, Bradley Foster, Rinaldo Palumbo

INTERCHANGES: Bill Leyland, Adam Vrahnos, Robert Tuliatu, Euan Parke

TRIES: Lewis Bienek (10), Bradley Foster (13), Daniel Hoyes (33), Iliess Macani (55), Alex Walker (57), Jude Ferreira (79)

GOALS: Oliver Leyland 4/7

SIN-BIN: Brock Pelligra (72)


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