12:00pm Monday 23rd April 2012
By Peter Martini
MICK RAMSDEN remains optimistic that York City Knights’ first win of the Co-operative Championship season is not far away following yesterday’s 30-16 reverse to Batley.
This was the Knights’ fifth defeat of the league campaign and seventh loss on the trot against professional opposition, but assistant-coach Ramsden pinpointed key refereeing decisions as major factors in yesterday’s outcome, and reckoned “sooner or later it will click for us”.
The Knights had two tries ruled out and, although ex-Knight Mark Applegarth had one chalked off at the other end, Batley were awarded two dubious touchdowns. The first came at a crucial period just before half-time. York were attacking in search of an equaliser when an attempted intercept saw the ball go loose, Gareth Potts picking up to streak 80 metres home.
“I’ve looked at that knock-on a few times,” said Ramsden, having viewed the match DVD. “The video is not 100 per cent clear but it looks like two players have gone for an intercept and one knocks the ball forward. You like to give officials the benefit of the doubt but, if it was a bad call, the last thing we need is for decisions like this to go against us.
“Jack Lee’s try (ruled out for offside) was touch and go. I think we were badly done to with that as well.
“James Houston had one ruled out for a forward pass but I’d like to see that again. Batley got one from a kick as well where people were claiming offside.
“That try (by Potts) just before half-time was a killer. It was a crucial part of the game. We would’ve come in full of confidence but it was a downer instead.”
However, Ramsden demanded his side cut out the errors that bring about cheap and at times costly turnover.
“At this level, when teams get into good field position they punish you,” he said.
“We’re finding that out with all the teams. You can’t afford these errors. We had five or six in the first half when we lost the ball cheaply.”
Ramsden, while saying the final pass at the other end was still going astray, also believed it was just a matter of time before it came together.
“We’re not being clinical – that’s been a problem for a few weeks,” he said. “But we’re getting better at creating things and engineering a few opportunities. It’s just that last pass that’s not happening at the moment.
“Sooner or later I think it will click and we will get the results out of it.”
John Davies made his third debut for the club and was named the sponsors’ man of the match. As revealed by The Press on Saturday, the second-row, who played once in 2010 and eight times in 2011, signed again on dual-registration from Castleford 48 hours earlier.
Second-row Ed Smith, back in the side after a knee injury, came off in the first half with an ankle problem, while captain James Ford departed with a shoulder injury in the second. Both have an extra week to recover, though, as the Knights’ next game, at Swinton, is not until Sunday, May 6.
Paul King and Brett Turner, both back in the side after injury, reportedly came through unscathed.
Ramsden added: “John played well for us, and he and Ed Smith shored up the second row – though we lost Ed again (to injury). John played the full game and battled on and was a threat with the ball in hand.”
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