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The game of the round in the weekend´s Challenge Cup fixtures pitched two Championship sides against one another as the high-flying Sheffield Eagles, currently in third spot in the table, travelled to take on ninth placed York RLFC Knights at the LNER Community Stadium in the BBC televised game.

The bookies were struggling to pick a favourite, opting to slightly favour the Eagles and giving the Knights a two-point start on the handicap coupon. It was sure to be a massive battle between two sides with play-off aspirations.

York took a beating at the hands of Championship favourites Featherstone in their last run out while the Eagles stunned Toulouse in France with a big win over their play-off adversaries. York beat West Bowling in the third round while Sheffield overcame Siddal, today promised to be a much tougher ask for both sides.

It was a perfect start for York after Kris Welham lost the ball in the tackle. York took full advantage as they used their tackles before moving the ball wide to Connor Barley who found Myles Harrison who hugged the touchline and crossed on the overlap right to score in the corner. Glover was wide with his touchline conversion attempt.

On seven minutes Gwaze spilled the ball inside his own twenty, two tackles out and Danny Kirmond burrowed is way over the line from close after a weak tackle from Ben Jones-Bishop. Glover missed an easy looking conversion, but his side were 8-0 ahead, Sheffield being their own worst enemies with repeated errors.

Within three minutes the Knights were in again when Harris went through the Eagles defence with ease on the half way line and drew the full-back before finding the supporting Kirmond to get his second. Glover finally found his range for 14-0, Sheffield still on the coach and conceding at more than a point a minute.

The pace of scoring had slowed a little, but it was still York amassing the points when on twenty-two Conor Fitzsimmonds took the ball from acting half back and outsmarted the Eagles defence to dive in. Glover struck his conversion between the uprights, the Eagles now in big trouble.

The game was turned on its head on thirty minutes when Kirmond was red carded for a late hot on Corey Aston, York down to twelve men for the remaining fifty minutes.

On thirty-four the Eagles were denied a try but they were now looking to exploit the extra space with a turn of speed but the Knights kept them at zero to the interval.

Nine minutes after the restart, and with Mark Aston´s words still ringing in the Eagles ears, Kris Welham took the Anthony Thackeray pass and hit a gap to open the visitor’s account. Cory Aston added the conversion for 6-20.

On the kick-off return, a tremendous break down the left wing from Jason Bass devastated the York defence and the winger found Aston in support inside him to go over. Aston added the touchline conversion, and the margin was down to eight points.

But York weren´t lying down. On fifty-six an incredible cross field kick was taken from Liam Harris was taken by the flying AJ Towse to walk in and ground. The conversion was missed, York now twelve ahead.

An Eagles ball steal twenty from their own line gifted Glover a simple penalty but he incredibly pushed the kick wide. York then conceded back-to-back penalties close to their own line and Aston put Bass over for a try down the left side. Aston again hit the target from close to the left touchline, the York lead down to six points with fifteen minutes remaining.

Bass was unable to take a poor pass on seventy with the line begging but on seventy-four Martin Chrimes was on the end of a fast hands passing move from left to right to summersault over the line on a tight overlap. Aston was just short with the conversion attempt, the Eagles still two points adrift at the final hooter, the Eagles hearts broken.

Despite an heroic fightback, admittedly against twelve men, the Eagles fell just short of cup progress as York managed to hold on under intense pressure to take the victory by a 24-22 margin. The Knights will now play Newcastle Thunder in three weeks’ time for a place in the sixth round and the potential of a game against Super League opposition.

York RLFC Knights: Brown, Towse (T), Glover (2G), Barley, Harrison (T), Marsh, Harris, Antrobus, Jubb, Fitzsimmons (T), Field, Kirmond (2T, SO on 30), Thompson. Subs: Michael, Daley, Teanby, Ta´ai. 18th Man: Ward.

Sheffield Eagles:  Jones-Bishop, Chrimes (T), Welham (T), Oakes, Bass (T), Aston (T, 3G), Thackeray, Douglas, Halafihi, Dickinson, Roberts, Sene-Lefeo, Gwaze.  Subs: Farrell J, Wood, Liu, Hodgson. 18th Man: Bower.

Half-Time: 20-0.  

Full-Time: 24-22.

Score Progression: 4-0, 8-0, 12-0, 14-0, 18-0, 20-0, (SO) : HT : 20-4, 20-6, 20-10, 20-12, 24-12, 24-16, 24-18, 24-22 : FT.

Lead Exchanges:  York.

Referee: James Vella.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 2nd Apr 2023 2:11 PM | Views : 5896 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES