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York Knights 16-32 Sheffield Eagles - Match Report

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York Knights suffered a 32-16 defeat to Sheffield Eagles in Round Four of the Betfred Challenge Cup in a fiery affair that saw five cards shown at the LNER Community Stadium.

The Knights led 12-10 after a competitive and ferociously-fought first half-hour which had already seen Jesse Dee, Jordan Thompson and Kris Welham sin-binned before Will Dagger was sent off and Thompson was again yellow-carded.

Sheffield went on to four tries with just a solitary reply from the numerically disadvantaged hosts, who were unable to seal a third successive Betfred Challenge Cup success over the Eagles.

The Knights had made a dream start, taking the lead after just six minutes when Brenden Santi, returning to his role as starting prop, profited from a wide gap after Liam Harris ghosted laterally across the Sheffield line.

Will Dagger added the conversion, the first of two successful kicks from as many attempts.

Sheffield responded just five minutes later however with former Marsh touching down in the left corner on the back of Jordan Thompson’s error on his 10 in the previous set.

York then lost Jordan Thompson to the sin-bin for a late tackle on Anthony Thackeray before Sheffield quickly capitalised on the man advantage as Matty Dawson-Jones was given a walk-in down the left edge.

Prior to Aston’s successful conversion, having missed his first attempt, Jesse Dee then joined Thompson on the sideline for a late shot on Marsh in the build-up to the Dawson-Jones try.

The hosts showed fantastic spirit to keep out Sheffield despite being down to 11 players, with Jimmy Keinhorst’s superb one-on-one tackle on Titus Gwaze the pick of some terrific defensive efforts.

Sheffield themselves fell foul of the referee when Kris Welham went to the sideline for 10 minutes for holding down on Dagger. 

York immediately profited when Keinhorst spun out of a tackle to touch from debutant Richie Myler’s short pass.

Dagger added the two points but less than five minutes later found himself sent off for his part in the melee that ensued after he was put into touch. Thompson was then sin-binned for the second time for holding down, leaving the Knights down to 11 men again.

The Eagles capitalised to go back in front shortly before the break as Joel Farrell reached out a hand to touch down amid an attempted tackle, with Aston converting.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts managed to manfully hold out for the first 10 minutes of the second half before eventually Sheffield’s pressure told with two tries in the space of three minutes.

Eddie Battye was first across the whitewash when he finished Alex Foster’s pass close to the York tryline before Ben Jones-Bishop flew in down the right flank from Marsh’s looping cut-out pass. Aston was wide from the touchline conversion. 

With 10 minutes to go, York managed to cut the gap back to just 10 points when Dee dived over on the right edge after the ball went through the hands of Liam Harris and Richie Myler, with the former then off target from the tee.

But Sheffield would have the final word on the contest as Thackeray crossed for a late sixth try at the final minute, duly converted by Aston.

York: Dagger, Brown, Dee, Keinhorst, Towse, Myler, Harris, Santi, Daley, Fitzsimmons, Field, Bailey, Thompson

Subs (all used): Ta’ai, Williams, Teanby, Reynolds

18th Player: Jubb

Tries: Santi (6’), Keinhorst (30’), Dee (69’)

Goals: Dagger (2/2), Harris (0/1)

Sin-bin: Thompson (15’, 38’), Dee (17’)

Red card: Dagger (36’)

Sheffield: Marsh, Jones-Bishop, Welham, Glover, Dawson-Jones, Aston, Thackeray, Battye, Halafihi, Dickinson, Foster, J. Farrell, Gwaze

Subs (all used): Clark, Murphy, Liu, Roberts

18th Player: Hansen

Tries: Marsh (11’), Dawson-Jones (16’), J. Farrell (38’), Battye (51’), Jones-Bishop (54’), Thackeray (79’)

Goals: Aston (4/6)

Sin-bin: Welham (30’)


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