Knights tame the Lions

watches York City Knights trounce Swinton Lions 40 – 2

After a season which has seen the Knights struggle at the bottom end of the table, a powerful return to form was demonstrated on the 1st June with the home side crushing the Swinton Lions in the second half with four tries in six minutes.

The victory was by no means in the bag in the first half, with the Lions showing their strength after an attempt at goal in the first minutes was blown astray by the summer’s breeze, the loose ball was picked up by Blaymire and the Knights reply forced Swinton deep into their own half and a drop goal by scrum half Brough opened the score. The game’s pattern was cemented in these opening minutes, with the Lions frequently forced into a rear guard action, but the try eluded City Knights despite a strong performance by Brough, cleanly sidestepping through the Lions defence only to be brought down yards from the line, his pace rewarded him with the consolation of a second goal. The Knights’ high risk passing strategy saw some early mistakes exploited by the Lions’ Kris Tassell, but his interceptions yielded no score for the Lions.

A renewed Knights emerged from the break, dominating the visitors but the Lions’ back line proved initially impenetrable, and a penalty conversion by Chris Hough gave a respite to Swinton. After another York attack fell short of the try line, a Swinton catch fell straight through the recipient’s fingers, leaving the ball to bounce into winger Neil Law’s hands leaving the Lions flat footed as Law sped through the defence bringing the try York had been looking for. Further weaknesses in the Lions’ game was exploited by York as a Swinton scrum was overcome by the Knights and the pass to Alex Godfrey saw the Lions helpless as he coasted past the try line. Whilst the wind prevented the conversion, the Lions’ defence melted in the face of the Knights, as Man of the Match full back Chris Smith landed two tries in as many minutes The Knights’ passing game stretched Swinton to breaking point as superb communication by the home squad divided their defence and Blaymire blitzed through for his first try. A Lions’ token gesture at attack was foiled by new signing Forsyth, whose superior build saw him plow through handing the try to Blaymire, despite a Lions player having hold of him from 20 yards out.

While the Swinton fans began to empty from the stadium and ask of their team, "Are you going to pay for my £24 travel expenses?", the deflated Lions seemed unable to prevent a second Blaymire try, whilst his third was prevented only by a fumble. The Lions’ torment was finally ended by the whistle, but the frustration of Lions’ coach Peter Roe was evident with his remark, "if I had to go through that every weekend I’d be in my grave". Paul Broadbent, York’s Player-Coach, having had doubted his position only a few weeks back remained composed telling nouse "we deserve rewards from showing a great deal of resilience", and further remarking that the side was "still capable of a lot better".

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