14 May 2023

MATCH REPORT // York RLFC Knights 26 v 22 Newcastle Thunder

Despite leading for the best part of 70 minutes, Newcastle Thunder fall short and suffer defeat in the Betfred Championship against York RLFC Knights.

Starting the game in the worst possible fashion, Thunder saw themselves 6-0 down after less than two minutes on the clock.

After York worked the ball wide, winger AJ Towse found himself in acres of space and ran in from inside his own half to give the hosts an early lead. Centre James Glover added the extras.

Thunder would however bounce back instantly. Forcing a penalty from the restart, Newcastle made good ground and from that Ted Chapelhow crossed for the club’s first of the afternoon. Nikau Williams slotted the conversion, and the tie was once again, level at 6-6.

Thunder would strike twice before seeing a response from the hosts.

On 14 minutes winger Gideon Boafo, on only his second appearance of the season, crossed in the corner, after some slick hangs in the build-up including a great assisting pass from fullback Alex Donaghy. Williams was unable to add the extras and Thunder led 10-6.

Prop forward Mitch Clark would be next on the scoresheet, diving over on the fifth and last from dummy half to the left of the posts. Williams added the goal and the lead extended to 16-6.

It would then be York’s turn to fire their shots. Scoring a quick-fire double through fullback Joe Brown and forward Oli Field. Both scores were unconverted, and Thunder maintained a narrow lead, 16-14, going into the final five minutes of the half.

It would be Thunder who had final say before the break, scoring on 39 minutes through Donaghy. The fullback picking up loose ball and utilising his impressive pace to run in unopposed. Williams added the extras and Thunder went into half-time 22-14 up.

The Knights would be the first to strike in the second half on 49 minutes. Field with his second of the game wrong-footed the Thunder defence and burst through a gap from close range. With the conversion missed the score stood at 22-18 in favour of the visitors.

A prolonged period with no score followed with Thunder defending relentlessly to keep the Knights out. The pressure would soon prove too much for the visitors as York crossed once more through James Glover. Collecting a short pass, the centre powered through down the left. Unable to convert his own score, the Betfred Championship clash was level once more at 22-points apiece.

The killer blow would come just five minutes from full time as York Knights scored once more, this time through Oli Pratt. The hosts, attacking at speed, moved the ball well allowing the outside back to cross over on the right. The conversion was missed, and no action was to follow.

The game finished 26-22 in favour of the hosts.



TRIES: Ted Chapelhow, Gideon Boafo, Mitch Clark, Alex Donaghy.

GOALS: Nikau Williams 3.



TRIES: AJ Towse, Joe Brown, Oli Field 2, James Glover, Oli Pratt.

GOALS: James Glover.