The sides currently residing in sixth and seventh in the Championship table, with two wins each out of their opening four games, came together for a fourth round Challenge Cup encounter as the York City Knights hosted Newcastle Thunder for a place in the fifth round.
It was an eagerly anticipated encounter between two sides who appeared evenly matched on paper.
It was a sensational start for Newcastle with Craig Mullen throwing a dummy left, ducking out of a high tackle, and running twenty metres to ground by the left upright. With four minutes on the clock Jake Shorrocks converted from in front of the uprights for a 6-0 lead.
The Knights responded on eights when a Harris grubber kick was collected by Jamie Ellis under the sticks for the score. The York half back added a simple conversion to level the scores.
Mullen got a second try on thirteen minutes as he spun out of the tackle to drop over the line on his back and ground over the line. Shorrocks was again accurate with the boot.
Matty Marsh found Ronan Dixon in support as he took the tackle ten from the Newcastle line. The substitute had a ten-metre run for the line to score under the sticks and when Ellis added the conversion the scores were again level. The game was turning into an epic battle between two evenly matched sides.
A spectacular offload from Ellis within five of the Newcastle line was juggled by Marsh who then stretched out an arm to ground on the line to give York the lead for the first time in the game. Ellis added the conversion for 18-12.
York were gifted a fourth try three minutes before the interval when Liam Harris intercepted a poor pass on his own forty metre line to sprint sixty metres and score to the left of the uprights. Ellis added the conversion for a 24-12 lead, the half time talks now about to take a different direction from a couple of minutes ago.
Right on the half time hooter Josh Woods smashed over a forty-metre drop goal to reduce the arrears to eleven points.
There was a long break in play at the start of the second half as Jay Chapelhow was stretchered off the field after landing awkwardly on his ankle.
York opened the second half scoring on forty-seven Marcus Stock took an inside pass from Liam Harris to go in under the sticks and give Ellis a simple fifth conversion for 30-13. Newcastle now had a mountain to climb.
Matty Marsh picked up his second try of the afternoon on sixty-six after a rolling break down the centre of the field over sixty metres when he was on hand for a clear run to the line to summersault in for the grounding. Ellis added the conversion for 36-13, the City Knights were into the fifth round.
With seconds remaining a flowing move from left to right was completed by Brad Ward as the winger hugged the touchline to score, one-handed, in the corner. Ellis put his kick over from the touchline to maintain his own one hundred percent record and complete a 42-13 win.
Up until the York try within a couple of minutes of half time, this was a classic end to end encounter, but from that point on York were in complete control as they racked up the points on attack and defended impeccably to ensure their continued progress in the cup. Newcastle seemed to run out of steam, and once they went twelve points behind their heads went down and there was no inkling of a comeback.
York City Knights: Marsh (2T), Ward (T), Glover, Ogden, Towse, Harris (T), Ellis (T, 7G), Matongo, Jubb, Michael, Warren, Kirmond, Thompson. Subs: Brining, Teanby, Dixon (T), Stock (T).
Newcastle Thunder: Mullen (2T), Donaghy, Sutton, Nokes, Boafo, Shorrocks (2G), Woods (DG), Moran, Eaves, Chapelhow T, Nicholson, Gallagher, Hallas. Subs: Peachey, Chapelhow J, Wilde, Bailey.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 6-6, 6-10, 6-12, 10-12, 12-12, 16-12, 18-12, 22-12, 24-12, 24-13 : HT : 28-13, 30-13, 34-13, 36-13, 40-13, 42-13 : FT .
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.