BEN REYNOLDS scored a try with his first touch for the club as York City Knights’ under-20s reserves beat Sheffield U20s 42-22 last night - but he later joined a posse of players on the treatment table to put in doubt his availability for the Championship One kick-off.
Reynolds, the first player to join York on dual-registration from new partner club Castleford Tigers, made his bow in the Huntington Stadium friendly with a view to potentially breaking into the first team for the season opener against Gloucestershire All Golds next Sunday.
He played at full-back but also joined in effectively as a third half-back when the team attacked. He scythed through to open the scoring and contributed pretty well throughout until an unfortunate collision with his opposite number midway through the second half saw him depart with a hip injury.
Prop Nathan Harper, likewise on his Knights bow after illness prevented him playing in the first-team pre-season fixtures, also scored a try, one of seven notched by Mick Ramsden’s young charges against a Sheffield side who fielded two different line-ups in each half.
However, winger Curtis Macdonald went off with a suspected broken ankle, impressive loose-forward Ryan Backhouse endured ankle trouble and Tom Rogers damaged ribs.
Ramsden said of the performance: “On the whole I’m fairly pleased and we got a win, which is always good, but there’s plenty to improve on.
“It got a bit scrappy at times and we weren’t consistent in what we did through the game.
"Sheffield had two teams and came in with a lot of enthusiasm and if you drop your standards and go away from the systems that are working, you let teams like that into games, and that’s what happened in the last 20 minutes.
“They finished the stronger, which is disappointing, but the pleasing thing was the fact much of the attacking play was sharp. We did some good things. Our middle men worked very hard, especially when you consider we only had one prop on the bench and we picked up a couple of injuries.”
Harry Carter added to Reynolds’ opener before Sheffield’s Eddie Medforth halved the deficit, catching York napping with a quick penalty.
James Morland, who looked classy all night, put Backhouse in after showing real quality to break through, but Sheffield winger Ryan Millar hit back to make it 18-12 at the break.
The Knights then forged ahead. Tyler Craig finished brilliantly after a splendid cut-out ball from Morland, and Reynolds, with a no-look pass, sent in Harper. Substitute Steven Batty then set up two tries, firstly with a cheeky chip which was collected by fellow sub Adam Swift, who sent in George Elliott to finally score after a few earlier misses. A well-timed pass then saw Backhouse finish well again.
Ben Crane maintained a 100 per cent record with the boot for a 42-12 lead, before Reynolds exited and Sheffield bagged two late ripostes through Tom Ashton and Darren Ford.
Knights U20s reserves: Reynolds, Elliott, A Dent, Rogers, Macdonald, Morland, Talbot, Pickles, Carter, Stubbs, Crane, Craig, Backhouse. Subs: Harper, Batty, Swift, Tomlinson.