Thornton's delight as York City Knights have three named in Team of the Week to cap momentous win

Thornton's delight as York City Knights have three named in Team of the Week to cap momentous win

Ben Dent

Jack Aldous

Austin Bell

First published in Sport
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YORK City Knights' momentous victory at Hunslet has seen three players named in the Kingstone Press Championship One Team of the Week - though boss Gary Thornton reckoned it could have been more.

The 28-26 victory was the Knights' first over arch-rivals Hunslet in ten attempts and was also their first away from home in the league since a last-minute Chris Thorman conversion brought success at Dewsbury back in June 2011.

Thornton admitted surprise at the length of those barren runs, but not at having players in the Team of the Week.

"Wow - is it really that long?" he said when told of the 33-month wait for a win on the road. "That's some statistic. It's an incredible stat when you think about it but it's fantastic we've got that monkey off our back and broke that duck.

"We're just taking it week by week and hopefully we can improve week by week and take each challenge as it comes."

Thornton, whose only away win in his debut season in charge last year was a Challenge Cup victory over amateurs Blackbrook, added: "I'm pleased for the fans more than anything. There was a reasonable following there on Sunday, despite the fact we haven't won away or against Hunslet for some time. They still showed up and got behind the team."

The three men in the Team of the Week are props Austin Bell and Jack Aldous and winger Ben Dent, who made it two tries in the opening two games.

Thornton reckoned the likes of Lee Paterson, Greg Minikin, Pat Smith, Ed Smith and Jack Lee were also worthy of places having played full parts in beating the Championship One favourites on their own turf.

"I mentioned after the game that I thought the middle unit players were outstanding," he said.

"Jack and Austin gave us a really good start (up front) and Jake Joynt and Nathan Freer carried that good work on from the bench.

"We were on top in the first 20 minutes when Jack and Austin were on the field and much of that was from their good work, as well as that of Lee Paterson and Jack Lee. These four really dominated the game and that set the platform for the victory."

Thornton, himself a former winger, added of Dent: "It's always good to see a winger in the Team of the Week. He took his try really well and his overall contribution was very good, as it has been all season.

"We've got a lot of good outside-backs and they're all young guys as well. That's testament to the work they're doing in training and in preparation."

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