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York City Knights boss Gary Thornton hit by fresh injury blows
12:01pm Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Sport
GARY THORNTON bemoaned the “injury curse” at York City Knights and a “painful” last ten minutes as his side fell 46-14 away to Sheffield last night.
The Knights were in the game at 28-14 down, with Thornton eyeing a bonus point return from a tough trip to the Kingstone Press Championship champions, despite having lost captain James Ford to injury in the warm-up and vice-captain Jason Golden midway through the game.
But a counter-attack try, followed by two more in the last few minutes, took the Eagles clear.
“I’m disappointed with the margin of scoreline,” said head coach Thornton. “We got ourselves back in the game after an horrendous first 20 minutes.
“In the second 20 we got back into it. There were 14 points in it with about ten minutes to go, so I’m disappointed with the way it ended.
“I was hoping for a bonus point. At 28-14 we were in there with a shout and in the game, but then there was a poorly executed kick by Simon Brown, they get a quick tap restart and go full-length and score. The back end of the game after that was a bit painful.”
Ford, returning from a quad injury, suffered a new groin problem, while Golden had a worrying shoulder injury.
The Knights also saw winger George Elliott depart half-way through the second half after a blow to the head, though he was okay afterwards, while kicking king Simon Brown was struggling throughout with a back problem.
Said Thornton: “It seems to be the curse with York City Knights, these injuries.
“I think we collapsed a bit in the last ten minutes. Up to that point, I thought we were good value for a bonus point.”
Referee Matthew Thomason gave 21 penalties in the match, compared to four awarded by Ronnie Laughton in York’s game against Halifax last weekend.
Thornton added: “I was mystified by a lot of the decisions. I’m not blaming the ref for the scoreline but some calls, especially in the first half, got us on the back foot.”
Sheffield boss Mark Aston, whose side made it four straight wins following an opening-day defeat to Halifax, had a word of praise for ex-Knights player Duane Straugheir, who was given his first start of the season after four games on the subs’ bench.
Aston said: “We weren’t great but the lads that came in, like Duane Straugheir, did well.
“We showed a bit more penetration than we have done.”