MATCH REPORT: Thunder 16 – Knights 26

Newcastle Thunder enduring a frustrating afternoon against York City Knights at Kingston Park Stadium on Sunday afternoon as the fell to a 16-26 defeat in Betfred League 1.

Despite enjoying lengthy spells of both possession and territory, Jason Payne’s side were unable to convert this into scores and were instead forced to see the Knights extend their winning run in the competition.

In a breezy start, Thunder made plenty of the early running after riding out early pressure following a dropped high ball at the end of the Knights first attacking set.

Earning a penalty that allowed the hosts to relieve the pressure the completed their next attack six deep into York’s half before a mistake at the play the ball allowed the hosts to build a decent period in the shadow of the Knights posts.

Making a mistake of their own, it proved to be a sucker-punch for Thunder, as the Knights went on to score on the subsequent set to break the deadlock.

Enjoying the better of much of the opening twenty minutes, with repeated forays into Thunder territory, the Knights were unable to add to their score thanks to a mixture of stern defence from the hosts and handling error.

Having kept their line intact, Thunder bagged a deserved equaliser as the half-hour mark approached thanks to centre Tuoyo Egodo.

Awarded a penalty for obstruction and starting a fresh set 10 meters from the York line, Newcastle laid the foundation for their opening try as half-back Lewis Young slipped his way out of a tackle in the centre of the park and worked the ball out to winger Ben Calland.

And while the Wigan and Salford U19 player was unable to get over the line himself, his positioning ensured that Egodo was able to profit from a superb dive into the corner, before Tom Shaw’s touchline conversion leveled the scores.

Seven minutes from the interval York were back in front when a superb delayed pass from Connor Robinson allowed Joe Batchelor the easiest of walk-ins before a penalty for dissent against the hosts allowed the Knights to take an eight-point lead into the break.

A frenetic opening to the second half saw both sides onto the scoresheet in the opening ten minutes, with the hosts closing to within four thanks to an acrobatic second try for Edogo before Judah Mazive posted an instant reposte immediately after the kick-off, winning the ball in the air and breaking through.

With the Knights having shown some tight defence in recent weeks, a ten point advantage looked like an imposing lead though Thunder continued to plug away and work themselves into a position to strike, but were unable to make the telling break.

The game was over as a contest with five minutes to play when Kieran Moss finished of another Robinson break, though Thunder were able to have the last word when Evan Simons scored a consolation try, after supporting a break from Edogo down Thunder’s left edge.

Newcastle Thunder

Theerapol Ritson, Mo Agoro, Joe Brown, Tuoyo Egodo, Ben Calland, Lewis Young, Tom Shaw, Liam McAvoy, Evan Simons, Jack Aldous, Sam Luckley, Aaron Ollett, Conor Fitzsimmons, Rhys Clarke, Harry Aldous, Vincent Rennie, Ben Pointer

Tries: Egodo (24, 47), Simons (80)

Goals: Shaw 2/3

York City Knights

Kieran Moss, Ben Cockayne, Will Oakes, Jake Normington, Judah Mazive, Matthew Marsh, Connor Robinson, Joshua Johnson. Andrew Ellis, Graeme Horne, Joe Batchelor, Sam Scott, Tim Spears, Adam Robinson, Ronan Dixon, Joseph Porter, William Jubb

Tries: Ellis (9), Batchelor (33), Mazive (47), Moss (75)

Goals: Shaw 5/5

Attendance – 954