Words by Chris Wilson

Image by Richard Long photography

If a turning point can come early in a game then it came in the first tackle of this match. Harrison Elliott returned the kick-off into the York defence and was promptly driven back from whence he came, ending up in the in-goal area conceding possession to the visitors.

As a statement of intent it was unarguable and the Knights proceeded to ram the point home at every opportunity. And they were given plenty as the All Golds turned in a lacklustre first forty minutes conceding half a dozen tries with just a lone Steve Parry score in reply.

The second half was little better, though all the scoring came in the first 20 minutes of the period, the last quarter being scoreless, though dominated by the visitors.

“We were nowhere near good enough in any facet of the game,” said All Golds head coach Lee Greenwood.

“One thing we needed to do was to start well, but unfortunately we were 18-nil down within a quarter of an hour and the very first play of the game set the tone for both teams. When your front row gets driven back ten metres over your own line in your own in-goal you can probably sense what sort of an afternoon its going to be and that were the case.”

The York side’s line-speed was on the money and their intensity in attack and defence was simply too much for the All Golds who didn’t help their cause with simple errors.

The visitors came with a strong side many of whom had experience in the Academies of a number of Super League sides. Nick Rawsthorne impressed, crossing for four tries and having a hand in another while Liam Harris stepped up when halfback partner Harry Tyson-Wilson left the field injured to score a fine individual try and lead his side with an accomplished passing and kicking game.

With York firmly in charge, the scoring began in the third minute as Josh Ward raced out of the line seeking an intercept and Rawsthorne ran through the hole to send Joe Batchelor strolling over under the posts for Tyson-Wilson to add the extras,

Soft hands from Chris Siddons presented Ronan Dixon with an easy second try five minutes later and shortly afterwards, Rawsthorne glided through the defence to touch down.

The opening salvo launched, York’s game got scrappy and a forward pass gave the home side a chance which Parry accepted, burrowing over for a try converted by Ward.

Ash Robson then extended the lead before Chris Barlow spilled a steepling kick and Tommy Saxton sent Will Jubb in. Harris added the extras in the absence of Tyson-Wilson.

York were still on the attack as the hooter went for the interval and Rawsthorne squeezed in at the corner from David Foggin Johnston’s offload.

York started the second half with the same intensity as they had the first and Harris broke through the All Golds left edge to run half the length of the field to touch down, adding the goal himself.

Rawsthorne went over for his hat-trick score four minutes later stepping through the defence to touch down before Ed Smith pinched the ball from Barlow’s grasp after he had fielded Harris’ high kick to the corner to bring up the half century.

When Rawsthorne crossed for his fourth try after being given an acre of space to work in by Harris’ pass it looked like the All Golds were set for a real drubbing with a quarter of the game remaining.

However, it didn’t materialise as the home side were the next to score through Brad Kislingbury who showed neat footwork to beat the first line of defence and stretch over for the final points of the game.

The Knights pressed hard for more points but errors crept into their game and the All Golds held out until after the final hooter as play continued and Foggin Johnston went over but Rawsthorne’s pass was ruled forward.

ALL GOLDS: Steven Nield; Mo Agoro, Phil Cowburn, Brad Kislingbury, Chris Barlow; Josh Ward,

Kieran Hyde; Ollie Purslow, Steve Parry, Harrison Elliott; Graham O’Keeffe, Joe McClean; Chris Worrall; Interchange: Billy Brickhill, Lewis Reece, Harry Kidd, Malikhi Lloyd-Jones

Tries: Parry (17), Kislingbury (62)

Goals: Ward 1 from 1, Hyde 0 from 1

KNIGHTS: Ash Robson; Tommy Saxton, Nev Morrison, Nick Rawsthorne, David Foggin Johnston; Liam Harris, Harry Tyson-Wilson; Ronan Dixon, Andy Ellis, Chris Siddons; Joe Batchelor, Ed Smith; Tim Spears; Interchange: Will Jubb, Brad Hey, Bobby Tyson-Wilson, Joe Porter

Tries: Batchelor (3), Dixon (8), Rawsthorne (11, 40, 46, 57), Robson (28), Jubb (35), Harris (42), Smith (54)

Goals: Harry Tyson-Wilson 3 from 4, Harris 5 from 6

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 0-18, 6-18, 6-22, 6-28, 6-32, 6-38, 6-44, 6-50, 6-56, 10-56

Penalty count: 5-9

Half-time: 6-32

Referee: Greg Dolan

All Golds Man of the Match: Brad Kislingbury