York City Knights v Sheffield Eagles
Sunday 24th March 2019, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 8
Stats over last 8 encounters
Sheffield Eagles had to dig deep to conquer York City Knights 24-16 at Bootham Crescent.
Ben Hellewell notched a second half brace on debut as the newly formed dual-registration partnership with London Broncos reaped its rewards from the off.
Ryan Millar had opened the scoring in the first half before Liam Salter’s converted score gave the hosts a two-point advantage at the break.
Hellewell’s double-salvo, which followed a James Glover try, was enough to hand a gritty triumph to the Steel City club.
Hellewell and fellow Bronco Sadiq Adebiyi made their first appearances for the club, replacing the suspended Blake Broadbent and injured Jason Crookes.
Nothing could separate the sides for the opening quarter as defences were very much on top.
A Millar error from a high bomb was as close as York got to the try-line during that period, the following set saw the Knights held up over the whitewash.
The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes as Millar found room in the corner and dotted down. Pat Walker couldn’t convert.
As the clock ticked down to the interval, York responded through Liam Salter who benefited from a swift Conor McGrath offload. Connor Robinson was on hand to give York their first, and only, lead of the contest.
After a half containing few errors, the opening ten minutes of the second stanza was a complete contrast.
Neither side could keep hold of possession and it was slowly turning into a scrappy encounter.
However, it was the Eagles who managed to get their act together first and Anthony Thackeray’s kick to the corner was gathered by James Glover who spun out of a tackle to score. Walker added the extras for a 6-10 lead on the hour.
Hellewell was soon celebrating his first try of the afternoon as he glided through a gap in the Knights’ rearguard. Walker again converting.
Nervy times faced the Eagles though when Will Jubb scrambled over from dummy-half with seven minutes to go. Robinson converted to cut the gap to 12-16.
Walker’s kick-off bounced out of play and a penalty later saw the kicking tee come back out for the stand-off. He knocked over the two points.
Just as you thought the Eagles may have been able to relax, York got the ball back from the kick-off and also won a penalty soon after.
Halifax loanee McGrath touched down in the corner and Robinson had a chance to level the scores. Fortunately for the visitors, the half-back was off target and Mark Aston’s men had a two-point lead to defend.
But in the three minutes that remained, York never touched the ball again as Walker’s dazzling kick-off bounced back to the Eagles players, who took full advantage.
Thackeray played a wonder pass to the onrushing Hellewell and the Scottish international wasn’t going to be stopped. Walker converted to put Sheffield two scores ahead once again and ultimately sealed the win.