LAST YEAR’S CLOSE match between these two sides couldn’t be matched this year as Lancaster came out with a comfortable 18-point win against a York side who had a tale of two halves.
There were early signs that the match wasn’t going to go York’s way when Travis DeGoey was ejected from the game on just the fourth play of the game. Referees stated that the reason for this was due to two unsportsmanlike conduct calls against him on three plays, a decision that the York Centurions Twitter page didn’t agree with, launching into expletives to describe the decision. It didn’t take long after that for Lancaster to take the lead. Quarterback Ackroyd played a 13-yard pass to King; a missed extra point would mean Lancaster had a 6-0 lead. York fans would have wanted the Centurions to respond well to going behind, but what they got was Latham throwing an interception on the goal line, recovered by Rajappan on one of the last plays of the quarter.
Ball security proved an is-sue for York in the second quarter with them fumbling with the ball three times, luckily recover-ing them all. Two of these were on hand offs from the quarterback to the running back and the other from a Lancaster kick off. While all was going wrong for York, all was going right for Lancaster. A 10-yard run from Ackroyd set up a one-yard run f o r Wilde, with a two-point conversion failing, Lancaster were 12-0 up. An optimistic attempt on 4th& 5 yielded another interception for Lancaster, Latham throwing it to Lamb-Fulham who almost returned it for a pick-six, being tackled on the 7-yard line. One play later and Lancaster did score a touchdown with a 7-yard run for Nattrass, another two-pointer failure due to a fumble recovered before the goal line by the offence made it 18-0 to Lancaster. That was the score going into the half, even after York were able to intercept a pass from Ackroyd at the end of the half. If ball security and passing had been the main problems facing York in the first half, the second half was different. York spent the entirety of half-time preparing for the second half and it showed. There were no signs of issues on the first play as Latham threw a 13-yard pass to Mackintosh, Latham then threw to Hewitt for the two-point conversion to bring the game back to 10. Anyone hoping for a York comeback though would have been disappointed as Lancaster halted York’s momentum on the next play. A 27-yard run from Ackroyd in which he dodged several tackles created a one-yard run for Foster and a pass from Ackroyd to Nattrass made it 26-8 in favour of Lancaster, much to the joy of the onlooking home contingent.
The fourth started with the third interception for Latham on the 9-yard line from Maddison which was ran back to the 37-yard line. However, when Lancaster got to York’s 9-yard line, they had a turnover of their own as a fumble was recovered by Hallett for York. The Centurions weren’t able to capitalise however as a 4th & 10 run by Hewitt went nowhere, which sealed Lancaster’s victory going into the two minute warn-ing. Hallett did recover another fumble in the final two minutes but all that did was add some positives to another York defeat early than the Friday of Roses 2018.
After the match, the Lancaster head coach praised York saying that they were “a tough challenge” and “unlucky” at points in the game. York’s head coach was in agreement as he said some of the plays didn’t go their way. He ended by saying that preparation for Roses 2019 starts next week.