York City Knights 26 Rochdale 20
York: Harris 8, B Dent 8, Morrison 7, Haynes 7, Saxton 8, Presley 9, H Tyson-Wilson 9, Dixon 7, Ellis 9, Robinson 9, E Smith 9, Batchelor 9, Spears 9. Subs (all used): Carter 7, B Tyson-Wilson 8, Moran 7, Porter 8.
Tries: E Smith 4; Batchelor 18; Moran 40; B Tyson-Wilson 72.
Conversions: H Tyson-Wilson 4, 18, 40, 72.
Penalty: H Tyson-Wilson 8.
Rochdale: Greenwood, Riley, Holmes, Galbraith, Massam, Palfrey, Yates, Tahraoui, Moores, Bennion, J Smith, Crowley, Case. Subs (all used): Maneely, Taira, Hadden, Francis.
Tries: Greenwood 30; Riley 33, 59; Massam 53.
Conversions: Palfrey 30, 33.
Man of the match: Tim Spears – a real leaders’ role in the engine room with and without the ball from the former Featherstone captain, showing his top Championship class against a Championship team.
Referee: Brandon Robinson (Batley) – not bad for much of the first half but, as is the way at this level, he missed some sitters and chucked in some clangers.
Penalty count: 10-5
Weather: windy with drizzly rain coming in the second half plus a brief downpour 15 minutes from time when the scores were 20-20.
Moment of the match: Jonny Presley, back in the Knights line-up for the first time this season after deciding not to hang his boots up, not only marked his return to action by setting up a try inside four minutes, but he also created the winner eight minutes from time - a wonderfully delayed pass giving Bobby Tyson-Wiilson the chance to spin over.
Gaffe of the match: York had just conceded a try which cut their early lead to 14-6 and they needed to consolidate. But a mix-up under a swirling Lewis Palfrey bomb, albeit with a suggestion of obstruction, saw full-back Liam Harrison and scrum-half Harry Tyson-Wilson look at each other, the ball rebounding off the latter’s shoulder and running towards goal for Chris Riley to get a simple touchdown and bring the Hornets right back in the game.
Gamebreaker: Bobby Tyson-Wilson’s 72nd-minute try decided the outcome but the Knights’ defence after that, Adam Robinson epitomising it when digging deep to get back and halt Jono Smith close in, was just as crucial.
Match rating: an absolutely cracking cup tie between home underdogs and visitors from a higher tier, with a cracking atmosphere too. York lost their last thrilling knockout tie to North Wales in the League One Cup; this was to go their way - the Knights, with by far their best performance of the year, making it five wins out of five against Rochdale since James Ford took the helm.