Double delight for York City Knights as Ladies and Men’s teams both win back-to-back at LNER

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Sunday afternoon at the LNER Community stadium saw York City Knights Ladies and Men’s team come out on top in their respective back-to-back games.

Billed by the club as a double-header and with over 2,500 fans in attendance accumulatively, the Ladies first swept aside Wigan Warriors Women in the Women’s Challenge Cup group stages before the men’s side recorded a fine victory against Widnes Vikings in Betfred Championship action.

With their 46-0 triumph, Lindsay Anfield’s Ladies have now won two from two in the Challenge Cup group stages without conceding a single point across the 160 minutes. Meanwhile, James Ford’s men remain fifth in the second division despite their 32-6 victory but have eight points, the same number as beaten opponents Widnes in fourth place.

Women’s Action

In a newly formatted version of the Challenge Cup, 16 teams have been split into four round-robin style groups with only the top two from each progressing through the last eight and the knockout stages accordingly.

Having won 78-0 away against Dewsbury Moor on gameweek one, Anfield’s Knights continued their momentum and came away with a comfortable success against the Warriors with hat trick hero Hollie Dodd the main catalyst along with Sinead Peach who grabbed a brace late on.

Tries from Savannah Andrade, Dodd and Ash Hyde had York in control by the half-time mark, while forward Dodd completed her hat trick within seven minutes of the restart.

The second rower’s second of the afternoon came just over 60 seconds into the second half, and was the pick of the bunch, breaking through the line before evading the challenge of two Wigan defenders before sliding over.

Kris Ratcliffe’s Warriors looked sluggish throughout and lacked any cutting edge, a stark contrast to the Knights who, after Peach’s double, saw Olivia Whitehead come on as an interchange to round things off with a try which saw her go the full distance.

They top Group C and barring a minor miracle points wise, will receive a home tie in the quarter-finals. Wigan meanwhile must overcome Dewsbury next week to progress, though they should still have enough to do so.

The Boys are Back in Town

Having watched on as their female colleagues got the win, York’s men took to the pitch against Widnes in a game which saw two out of form teams battling it out.

When the action got underway though, you wouldn’t have known that the Knights lost to Whitehaven last week, taking full advantage of Widnes’ Eribe Doro’s sin-binning for tipping with the opening try from Matty Marsh 12 minutes in.

Simon Finnigan’s Vikings looked lost for ideas throughout and at times were frankly atrocious in their attacking play, but the one moment of magic which brought them points during the afternoon came from Adam Lawton to level things up.

The big forward took the ball following a favourable bounce from a Crossfield pass, executing a lovely kick and chase to go over in front of Widnes’ travelling fans.

That was as good as it got for them though, with York rampant for the remaining hour of the contest at the LNER.

Brendan O’Hagan was influential in their opening try, assisting Marsh, and this time turned scorer running through unchallenged having been slipped in by Leeds Rhinos loanee Levi Edwards following some good footwork from the youngster.

Winger Brad Ward then went in acrobatically at the corner, rounding off the first half scoring at 16-6.

Things only went from bad to worse for Widnes, who had an off day, while York had a good one.

16 unanswered points came in the second half. Marsh grabbed his second of the afternoon to cap off a great performance at #1 for the Knights, Marcus Stock came on as an interchange to get on the scoresheet and centre Edwards put the cherry on top off a fantastic day for the club with his own four-pointer late on.

Jamie Ellis and Liam Harris also deserve credit for their conversions, which only helped to extend York’s dominance on the day putting additional points on the board.

They – like Widnes – now have a week off as the Challenge Cup comes back around, a competition which both are already out of.

York head to Workington Town in their next outing on April 3, while Finnigan’s Vikings face Newcastle Thunder away from home the following day looking to bounce back from what is now three straight defeats in all competitions.

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