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Eagles succumb to Knights second half blitz


Sheffield Eagles tasted defeat at the Olympic Legacy Park for the first time since their return to the city as York City Knights conquered 34-14.

The Eagles led at half-time thanks to tries from Kris Welham, Anthony Thackeray and Ben Jones-Bishop but they didn’t add to their tally in the second half.

A Pauli Pauli-inspired Knights outfit notched four tries in just over ten minutes to take the game away from Mark Aston’s men.

Aston introduced Liam Kirk back into the Eagles’ 17 for the first time in two months while Ross Oakes also entered the fray from the bench.

The Eagles had Yusuf Aydin and Isaac Shaw on dual-registration from Wakefield, while Featherstone loanee Tom Holmes did another 80-minutes at hooker.

Welham broke the deadlock on ten minutes as Jones-Bishop batted back a Thackeray kick which landed in the arms of the centre. Izaac Farrell couldn’t tag on the extras.

York notched the next two scores from their centres, James Glover and Bailey Antrobus. Liam Harris converted both.

After winning the ball one-on-one, Kirk received a nasty blow to the ribs from a Knights defender who went in knees first. Aydin took exception to this and the prop was sin-binned alongside York’s Ronan Dixon.

The Eagles ended the half in fine style as they took a slender lead into the break. Thackeray dummied past a York man and muscled his way to four points, prior to Jones-Bishop crossing the whitewash following a swift blindside play. Izaac notched one goal from his two attempts - enough for the hosts to poke their noses in front.

Half-time - Sheffield Eagles 14-12 York City Knights

York were enjoying more possession and territory in the second half and they made both count.

A Pauli offload ended up in Dixon’s hands and the front-rower made amends for his earlier misdemeanour by scoring. Pauli was at the heart of York’s attack once more soon after, as he got on the end of a Harris grubber on the last tackle to touch down.

Marcus Stock would score on the hour mark for York’s third try in a six-minute spell where the Eagles couldn’t handle them. Harris converted two from three, then added his final points of the afternoon after Stock barged over for a quick-fire brace.

An afternoon to forget for the Eagles and they don’t have much time to lick their wounds as they’re back in action on Sunday away at Newcastle Thunder.

Full-time - Sheffield Eagles 14-34 York City Knights

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman