Doncaster Knights finish third in Championship after thrilling win over Nottingham

Sam Pocklington’s last minute try secured Doncaster Knights a dramatic 29-24 win over Nottingham and a very creditable third place finish in the Greene King IPA Championship.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 7:28 pm
Matt Challinor, who joined Knights in 2010 from Rotherham, made his final appearance for the club against Nottingham.

Cornish Pirates briefly went above Knights in the standings after earning two bonus points from a 32-31 defeat at Jersey earlier in the afternoon.

A draw would not have been enough to prevent Doncaster dropping to fourth spot but, with the teams level at 24-24 and the clock on 80 minutes, Pocklington latched onto Connor Joyce’s offload to seal a bonus point win.

The winning try, which sparked great celebrations as fans returned to Castle Park for the first time since March last year, capped a superb shortened season for Steve Boden’s side.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Knights won eight out of ten games and only big-spending Ealing Trailfinders and mighty Saracens finished above them in the table.

Boden’s first season in charge has coincided with a big turnaround in fortunes for Knights who had finished 7th, 10th and 10th since reaching the play-offs in 2016 and 2017.

Matt Challinor captained Knights as he made his final appearance for the club after 11 years at Castle Park, while long-serving hooker Ben Hunter and Premiership-bound Robin Hislop also played their final games for Doncaster.

First half converted tries from Howard Packman and Gus Warr gave Knights a 14-7 lead at half time.

Lowly Nottingham threatened an upset when they scored two converted tries following the re-start but Will Holling crashed over on 65 minutes and Sam Olver kicked his third conversion to level the game at 21-21.

Both sides then traded penalties before Pocklington’s last gasp try.