York City Knights fell to their second defeat of the season as Leigh Centurions stormed their way to a 4-40 victory at the LNER Community Stadium.
The Knights faced almost identical weather conditions to their history-making win over the Batley Bulldogs last weekend and it certainly affected the opening forty minutes of the match-up.
Half-back Liam Harris made his return to the matchday squad after the end of his three-game suspension whilst James Clare made his second debut for the Knights at centre, having arrived on loan from Castleford Tigers.
A war of attrition took place throughout the opening fifteen minutes with both sides getting used to the wild weather conditions.
It was the visiting Centurions who took the lead thanks to a Ben Reynolds penalty kick in front of the posts in the 15th minute, the Knights committing a high tackle.
James Ford’s side found the try line first when a grubber kick from the returning Liam Harris was spilled by Ed Chamberlain with hooker Will Jubb in position to touch the ball down in the 22nd minute. Jamie Ellis failed to convert, but the Knights led.
The conditions didn’t improve throughout the eighty minutes, causing errors aplenty amongst both teams, but it was the visitors who scored next when Reynolds kicked a second penalty of the afternoon for Leigh in the 34th minute, this one occurring when the Knights were deemed guilty of a tip-tackle on Dan Norman.
As the rain continued to pour down at the LNER Community Stadium, the Centurions kicked another goal on the stroke of halftime to give themselves a 4-6 lead, Reynolds again the scorer.
Leigh came out for the second half full of intent with Sam Stone picking up the Centurions’ first try of the game after receiving a well-timed pass, strolling in to score in the 45th minute.
The Centurions grabbed their second try of the game five minutes later when a grubber from the impressive Joe Mellor found half-back partner Reynolds, Leigh’s number six going over under the sticks. Reynolds again converted, and the scoring would continue with the visitors continuing to pressure. Full-back Caleb Aekins found the whitewash in the left corner after the ball was shipped out wide, the Australian extending the lead with Reynolds delivering his only unsuccessful kick of the afternoon.
Ben Reynolds picked up his second try of the afternoon following another effort showcasing his understanding with Mellor. His conversion preceded a further two tries for Leigh with Ed Chamberlain and Joe Mellor both adding salt to the wounds in the 68th and 78th minutes, respectively.
The Knights host Newcastle Thunder next weekend in Round Four of the Betfred Challenge Cup and fans can pick up tickets from the York Stadium Management Company Ticket office at yorkcityknights.com/tickets, priced at £20 for Adults, £15 for concessions, and FREE for under 16s.
While Season Tickets, Premier Club Season Tickets and Vice-Presidents do not apply for Challenge Cup matches, each ticket bought will get a free voucher for a ticket to watch a film at Cineworld! Full information can be found on our website HERE!
KNIGHTS: Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, James Glover, James Clare, Will Oakes, Liam Harris, Jamie Ellis, Masi Matongo, Will Jubb, Ronan Michael, Chris Clarkson, Danny Kirmond, Jordan Thompson.
INTERCHANGES: Sam Davis, Jack Teanby, Ronan Dixon, Pauli Pauli.
TRIES: Jubb (22)
GOALS: Ellis 0/2
LEIGH: Caleb Aekins, Jy Hitchcox, Ed Chamberlain, Nene Macdonald, Keanan Brand, Ben Reynolds, Joe Mellor, Adam Sidlow, Ata Hingano, Mark Ioane, Tom Nisbet, Sam Stone, Tom Amone.
INTERCHANGES: Dan Norman, Jake Wingfield, Edwin Ipape, Jacob Jones.
TRIES: Stone (45), Reynolds (50, 66), Aekins (59), Chamberlain (68), Mellor (78)
GOALS: Reynolds 8/9
GEOFF PRYCE MAN OF THE MATCH, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ISAAC POAD BREWING: Will Jubb, sponsored by Clinical Technologies