Swinton 18 York 17: Missed conversions prove costly as Knights beaten by golden point

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YORK City Knights suffered golden point agony as they lost their League One play-off semi-final at Swinton amid intense drama at Park Lane.

The Knights had been 12 seconds from victory when former Leeds Rhinos academy starlet Ben White dropped a goal to level the scores 17-17 at the final hooter.

His half-back partner, Chris Atkin, then booted the one-point winner in the fifth minute of golden point extra time.

Swinton took the lead as Atkin chipped the defence, regathered and passed inside to White, who kicked forward – Atkin touching down after Adam Dent was unable to deal with the bobbling ball.

Dent, along with big brother Ben, was one of five home-grown players in York’s back line, with an average age of 21.

It was another local lad who got them level after their real attack, Ed Smith getting on the end of Castleford dual-registration starlet Jordan Howden’s perfect kick.

However, Ben Dent missed the kickable conversion and Swinton went back ahead with an Atkin penalty for an incident in back play that had left Atkin needing treatment and which was put on report.

York should have taken the lead when Greg Minikin sent Adam Dent away but the youngster’s scoring pass to Jonny Presley was called forward.

Nevertheless they did go ahead on 28 minutes, when hooker Kriss Brining scored a trademark try from dummy-half, and they struck again just before half-time – Castleford-bound centre Minikin finishing a smart move down the right involving Presley and second-row Smith.

However, Dent and Howden missed the easy conversions – and these extras were to prove crucial.

Presley scored a 70-metre interception try to make it 16-6 three minutes into the second half, Howden missing this goal from the touchline.

But the Lions quickly struck back, Atkin sending in Connor Dwyer and converting.

Then, after a rare Minikin error, Atkin sent winger Mike Butt over to level at 16-16, only to then miss a kickable goal himself.

Howden’s 40-metre drop goal eked the Knights ahead with nine minutes to go, but, with several players on their last legs, then came the late, painful drama at the other end.

Swinton Lions: R Hawkyard, Robinson, Littler, Rothwell, Butt, White, Atkin, Morrison, Ackers, James, Thornley, Lloyd, Lever. Substitutes: Barlow, Austin, Gallagher, 
Dwyer.

York City Knights: B Dent, A Dent, Minikin, Morland, Craig, Presley, Howden, Applegarth, P Smith, Mallinder, Tonks, E Smith, Aldous. Substitutes: Brining, Roche, Blagbrough, B Nicholson.

Referee: C Campbell (Widnes).