York Knights’ dream of an AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final appearance at Wembley came to an end following a 22-8 Semi-Final defeat to Batley Bulldogs at the LNER Community Stadium.
Batley led 14-0 at the break following tries from Josh Hodson and Adam Gledhill and three Luke Hooley goals.
The visitors extended their lead through Alastair Leak’s score, but after the Knights responded with two tries through AJ Towse and Liam Harris.
Hooley added a late penalty to secure a 22-8 win for Batley, sending them to Wembley to take on Halifax Panthers in the capital.
After neither side could find an opening in the first quarter of an hour, Batley opened the scoring through Hodson, who broke through against the grain from Jimmy Meadows' pass down the right edge before finishing under the sticks.
Hooley added the extras, his first of five goals during the afternoon.
The visitors doubled their advantage five minutes later, Gledhill touching down under the sticks after Josh Woods’ grubber kick.
Batley were given a penalty 30m out, which Hooley dispatched to rack up a 14-0 lead by half-time.
The visitors extended their lead further when Leak dived out of dummy half and forced his way over the tryline a dozen minutes after the restart.
York got themselves on the scoreboard on 54 minutes through Towse, who leapt over in the corner after shifting the ball left from Dee's offload.
The Knights struck once more through Harris, who raced away from his own 10m mark from Woods' pass, before fending off Hooley to finish.
Harris was unable to convert either of the two tries, leaving York trailing by 12 points.
Batley saw out the final quarter without conceding any further points, with late Hooley penalty wrapping up their Semi-Final victory.
York: Brown, Towse, Clarkson, Dee, Bass, Cunningham, Harris, Ta’ai, Jubb, Fitzsimmons, Field, Antrobus, Thompson
Subs used: Hingano, Kirmond, Teanby. Subs not used: Michael
Tries: Towse (54’), Harris (60’)
Goals: Harris (0/2)
Batley: Hooley, Morton, Hodson, Kear, McGowan, Meadows, Woods, Gledhill, White, Brown, Manning, Buchanan, Reilly
Subs (all used): Leak, Ward, Kibula, Flynn
Tries: Hodson (19’), Gledhill (24’), Leak (51’)
Goals: Hooley (5/5)
Referee: James Vella
Geoff Pryce Player of the Match in partnership with Isaac Poad Beer: Oli Field