NW Crusaders 28 York 30: Play-offs loom as Knights hold off challenge

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YORK City Knights jumped to third in League One with victory in North Wales.

The result saw the Knights leapfrog Swinton into third, meaning victory over Barrow in the last game of term next week will secure York a home play-off semi-final against the Lions, and possibly see them go second in the unlikely event Keighley lose to Hemel.

Andy Oakden gave North Wales the lead from a kick to the corner, the winger outjumping Ben Dent.

But Dent won the next aerial battle at the other end, and Oakden’s foul gave York another set in which James Morland marked his return to the team – his second appearance since rejoining from Harrogate RU – with a try.

An Oakden error under another kick saw Dent put Morland in for his second, Dent adding this first of four conversions.

Karl Ashall put Joe Burke in before Jonny Presley did superbly at the other end for Jack Aldous to score on his 100th York appearance.

Christiaan Roets equalised by the break but Pat Smith’s touchdown from a Presley kick restored York’s lead, eked up by Jordan Howden’s crucial penalty.

Ashall’s truly brilliant blind reverse pass saw Tommy Johnson cross and add his third of four conversions to make it 24-22 but York again got breathing space through Kriss Brining’s try from acting-half.

Roets was then yellow carded but Crusaders weren’t done, Ashall putting in Matt Reid to set up a tense finale.

North Wales Crusaders: Johnson, Oakden, Jullien, Roets, Massam, Moulsdale, Dallimore, J. Walker, Hudson, Burke, Reid, Wild, Duffy. Substitutes: Ashall, Joy, Peet, Davies.

York: Howden, B. Dent, Morland, Minikin, Morrison, Presley, P. Smith, Applegarth, Brining, Learmonth, E. Smith, Tonks, Aldous. Substitutes: Carter, Mallinder, Nicholson, Blagbrough.

Referee: T Grant (Leeds).