York Knights fell to a 22-10 defeat to Keighley Cougars on Good Friday at the LNER Community Stadium.
Bailey Antrobus’ sixth-minute try saw York get off to the perfect start before Keighley hit back through Dane Chisholm and Ben Crooks to lead 6-10 at half-time.
Quick-fire tries from Jimmy Keinhorst and Mark Ioane extended Keighley’s advantage to 16 points in the second half.
Liam Harris cut the gap for York after the hour mark, but suffered a head injury in the process and played no further part in the contest.
The loss of Harris, combined with prior injuries to Danny Kirmond and Conor Fitzsimmons, left the Knights with too much work to do in the final quarter.
The Knights had got off to a dream start when Liam Harris intercepted a Keinhorst pass and found Joe Brown, who weaved his way towards halfway.
Antrobus took advantage of the field position to barge over the line before James Glover added the conversion.
Keighley worked their way back into the contest and, midway through the first half, struck back through Chisholm, whose left-foot step took him over the line.
Joe Gibbons then stripped the ball from Jordan Thompson in his own half before the Cougars worked the ball left for Crooks to ground in the left corner. Luke Gale converted the
former but not the latter try.
The Knights denied Crooks a second through a wonderful try-saving tackle from Myles Harrison just three minutes later, leaving the scores locked at 6-10 at the break.
Two tries in four minutes saw Keighley put some daylight between themselves and York.
Keinhorst showed strong footwork down the left edge to dive in at the corner and the pressure did not relent.
Chisholm’s ban was dropped by AJ Towse, setting up the territory for Ioane to steam over from a drop-off pass. Gale converted both scores for a 22-6 advantage.
York cut the gap when Harris dummied his way past Gale but suffered a head injury in the process. Glover was wide from the kicking tee.
Having lost Harris, Kirmond and Fitzsimmons, the Knights struggled to escape their own half in the dying stages but did not concede further points, despite Gale’s two drop-goal attempts.
York: Brown, Towse, Glover, Barley, Harrison, Marsh, Harris, Antrobus, Jubb, Fitzsimmons, Field, Kirmond, Thompson.
Subs (all used): Kirby, Daley, Teanby, Ta’ai
Tries: Antrobus (6‘),Harris (62’)
Goals: Glover (1/2)
Keighley: Young, Agoro, Storey, Keinhorst, Crooks, Chisholm, Gale, Santi, Doyle, Ioane, Robson, Gibbons, Spence.
Subs (all used): Parker, Everett, Levy, Roby
Tries: Chisholm (20‘), Crooks (25’), Keinhorst (49’), Ioane (53‘)
Goals: Gale (3/4)
Referee: Nick Bennett
Geoff Pryce Player of The Match in partnership with Isaac Poad Brewing: Bailey Antrobus