Match Report – York City Knights 36-22 Swinton Lions

07 June 2021

The Lions gave their all to get the club to Wembley for the first time in their history but came up just short in a pulsating cup tie played in York’s very impressive new stadium.

The Lions made a great start and had their first chance in the third minute when Mitch Cox almost got over in the left corner but a bounce of the ball went away from him. However, it was the Knights who took the lead two minutes later when Matty Marsh cut through the defence to send Liam Salter over for the try on the right and Kieran Dixon added the conversion.

Geronimo Doyle then had a great chance after a break by Mike Butt but was tackled just short of the line on the sixth tackle. Martyn Ridyard sent a kick towards the Knights line on twelve minutes and with Butt chasing the kick Marsh had no option but to boot it dead and the goal line drop out was awarded. From this the Lions put even more pressure on the Knights defence and a good passing movement down the left side saw Mike Butt open the scoring in the left corner and Ridyard added a super conversion from the touchline.

It got even better for the Lions five minutes later when from a six again Sam Brooks went close and from the play the ball Ronan Michael forced his way over by the posts for his first Swinton try with Ridyard added his second conversion to put the Lions into a deserved lead. But the Knights hit back after twenty-four minutes after a Lions goal line drop out substitute Marcus Stock went through several tackle attempts to score on the left and Dixon converted to lock the scores.

Luke Waterworth and Luis Roberts both had chances before again the Knights forced a second goal line drop out and again they scored from it when Marsh cut inside this time from the left to send veteran centre Ryan Atkins over and Dixon was again on target to give them a six point interval lead.

Kris Brining extended the Knights lead within two minutes of the restart when he scored by the posts and again this was converted by Dixon but the Lions tried to bounce back and Mitch Cox almost set up a try for Doyle but the final pass was forward. Again it was the Knights who went further ahead when Danny Kirmond scored on the right and this was converted but the Lions came back again when Rhodri Lloyd broke down the right to feed Roberts who sent a nice inside pass for Mike Butt to score his second, this time Ridyard’s conversion attempt hit the posts and bounced out.

There was a bit of controversy on sixty-eight minutes when Nick Gregson was the victim of what looked like a crusher tackle and as he went down he lost the ball which the officials ruled a knock on. Despite the protests from the Lions players on the pitch and the coaching staff, in the end the incident was placed on report by referee Tom Grant but the play the ball still went to the Knights.

The Killer try came with eleven minutes left when the Lions were on the attack down the right and the ball went to ground on the Knights twenty and Mikey Lewis, the Hull KR player on loan, swooped up the ball to race eight metres to score under the posts with Dixon again making no mistake with the conversion.

The Lions did not give up all afternoon roared on by their noisy band of fans and the game finished with a hat trick try for Mike Butt in the dying minutes after Germonimo Doyle set it up for him and Ridyard added another great conversion from the touchline. A great game and a very proud effort from the Lions.

Ian Rigg at the LNER Community Stadium

LIONS

Doyle, Butt, Cox, Lloyd, Roberts, Ridyard, Hansen, Michael, Waterworth, Brooks, Meadows, Gregson, Brickhill.  Subs: Jones, Brogan, Hope, Green.

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