Knights complete 100% home record

Bevon Armitage strolls over for a Knights try
Bevon Armitage strolls over for a Knights try

Doncaster Knights maintained their slender lead at the top of National One with a belated comfortable win over Wharfedale which saw them close their home campaign with a 100 per cent record.

After a first half slump, the Knights roared into life and finished strongly, setting them up in the perfect manner for two crucial final away games where only a pair of victories will do, starting next weekend at Coventry.

Promotion rivals Rosslyn Park also picked up a five point win at home to Coventry to keep the Knights’ lead at four points with two games to go.

A brace of tries from Tyson Lewis plus scores from Mat Clark, Dougie Flockhart, Adam Kettle, Bruno Bravo and skipper Matt Challinor made for a comfortable scoreline in front of a bumper Castle Park crowd.

But the reality was a less than smooth ride for Clive Griffiths’ men, forcing the director of rugby to deliver a half-time rollicking that certainly produced the desired results.

The Knights got off to the best possible start over a blistering 13 minutes when it appeared they would run riot against their Yorkshire rivals.

Two almost identical tries from Clark and Lewis, sandwiching a Flockhart penalty, saw them race into a comfortable lead. Both men collected the ball just inside the opposition half, powered past tackling attempts and raced over.

But the fast-paced and intensity packed play could not be maintained by the Knights as the half wore on with errors beginning to creep in.

This gave Wharfedale renewed vigour and a way into the game they embraced.

First Taylor Prell collected a fine long pass and raced over from 40m before Scott Jordan made a fine interception, eventually getting control of the ball before darting clear.

Half-time came at an ideal juncture for the Knights though they started the second period sluggishly and fell behind.

A missed catch from Kettle just 10m out was pounced upon by Jordan who raced almost the full length of the pitch to score.

But the Knights were kicked into life with a long- range penalty converted calmly by Flockhart putting them back in front and getting them going once again.

Soon the balance was firmly back in their favour and they would not relent again.

Flockhart read superbly a poor long pass attempt on half way and intercepted before racing clear to score. He added the extras and slotted over another long range penalty three minutes later to give the Knights breathing space again.

The bonus point try came soon after with Bruno Bravo superbly keeping the ball alive before finding Adam Kettle who went over on his final game at Castle Park.

Matt Challinor barged over after a good period of pressure while replacement Jamie Lennard ghosted through a gap for the sixth.

And as the game entered added time, Bravo stayed alert to dot down a loose ball after a kick through was initially blocked.

Lewis put the full stop on the afternoon after collecting a pass from Danny Kenny and racing in from half way to score.