York City Knights 24 Newcastle Thunder 26

Knights: Harris 7, Morrison 7, Dent 6, Swift 6, Saxton 6, C Robinson 6, H Tyson-Wilson 6, Dixon 6, Ellis 8, Siddons 7, Cox 5, Thompson 6, Spears 6. Subs (all used): Carter 6, Mallinder 6, Jubb 6, Porter 7.

Tries: Ellis 16; Carter 50; Morrison 59; Swift 72.

Conversions: C Robinson 16, 50, 59, 72.

Newcastle: Shaw, Parker, Olpherts, Brown, Blair, Young, Hardcastle, McAvoy, Simons, Bustin, H Aldous, Clarke, J Aldous. Subs (all used): Luckley, Vincent, Teroi, Barron.

Tries: Simons 10; Shaw 28, 67; Teroi 35; Olpherts 40.

Conversions: Hardcastle 10, 35, 67.

Sin-binned: Parker 57.

Man of the match: Andy Ellis – the veteran, in and out of the side this year, gave a classy performance at hooker and continued that at half-back after filling in there following the reshuffle when Liam Harris went off. A cracking warm-up for the old stager ahead of next week’s semi-final.

Referee: J McMullen – unsighted for the awful foul on Liam Harris and gave yellow card instead of red on advice of touch judges, who must have been unsighted too.

Penalty count: 11-5

Half-time: 20-6

Weather: heavy showers made everything wet and greasy, before the sun came out later on.

Attendance: 1,100 est

Moment of the match: Adam Swift’s first try for the Knights, sprinting away after a good move saw Tommy Saxton put him in the clear.

Gaffe of the match: Liam Harris’ inexperience cost his side as he gave away a needless scrum in the danger zone – preceding a run of three Thunder tries in 12 minutes up to half-time. Newcastle hacked forward when running a free play after a York knock-on. Full-back Harris got to the ball in acres of space, but thinking it was now dead, with play to be brought back for a scrum from the original fumble, he booted the ball out of bounds by the corner flag. But it was Thunder’s advantage and the scrum instead took place where the ball went out, with opposite full-back Tom Shaw immediately scoring.

Gamebreaker: Newcastle full-back Tom Shaw’s second try with 13 minutes to go put the visitors two scores up, and York could only get one.

Match rating: a curious game in which only one team needed to win was given extra fire by the late hit which poleaxed Liam Harris. It could well be the perfect result for York with Newcastle perhaps the best bet to win at Barrow (more so than Doncaster or Keighley after their tough matches) which, should the Knights win at Whitehaven, would mean a promotion final back at Bootham Crescent.