NEW winger Judah Mazive announced his arrival at York City Knights with two tries inside 14 minutes against the York & District representative team – but the pro outfit did not thereafter have things all their own way against the city’s amateur elite.

The Knights, fielding six new signings and five trialists (albeit one being veteran winger Tommy Saxton) in their opening fixture of pre-season, won as expected but, having been only 24-12 up after an hour, they needed four late scores to go clear.

The District side had had the better of the third quarter before some feistiness injected more oomph into proceedings, the Knights lifting their game to ultimately win 46-12 – York Acorn’s Matt Chilton marking his Knights bow on trial with two fine tries.

Knights boss James Ford had opted to leave out four of his big names, including notable new recruits Graeme Horne, Ben Cockayne and Jake Butler-Fleming, plus Andy Ellis.

Joe Porter was also not involved while veteran prop Adam Robinson withdrew on the night with illness.

They were on top to start with, having an early chance after District winger George Hunt dropped a kick, team-mate Tim Stubbs then conceding a penalty. A score looked afoot but Connor Robinson’s sharp pass was forward.

Nevertheless, after another two penalties, the opener arrived on eight minutes - the ball spread wide where Ash Robson and Brad Hey fed Mazive to dive over in the corner. Robinson booted from the touchline his first of five conversions.

Apart from giving away penalties, the District side were holding up well against the bigger hits and more powerful runs from the pro boys – well-structured defence denying Mazive a carbon copy try when shoving the former Wakefield teenager into touch.

But there was no denying him on 14 minutes when a wonderful long pass by Robinson cut out three men and saw the winger catch and run round to the sticks.

A fine cover tackle by Matty Downes – who had been on the Knights’ books 12 months ago – hauled back Joe Batchelor after Brad Hey’s excellent break in centrefield looked to put the reigning Player of the Year away.

However, against the run of play, the District side struck back.

Anthony Chilton, big brother of Knights trialist Matt and later to be named man of the match, put through a grubber kick, former Acorn team-mate Ash Robson fluffed it at full-back, and Chilton darted through to touch the ball down and convert.

Robson was soon troubled by another Chilton kick, this time a high one which was allowed to bounce.

The full-back was cool under pressure that time but, after a penalty kept the District up the right end of the field, he fumbled another low kick, this one from Tim Elliott, to give away a scrum in the red zone. The Knights survived after some loose District passes, albeit fortunate to be awarded a scrum.

A sharp move in centrefield involving new half-back Brad Delaney injected some much-needed pace into the Knights’ attack, but the potential scoring pass inside to sub hooker Harry Carter went to ground.

The rep team tried to play expansive stuff at times, but it was the pro side who extended their lead as trialist prop Dan Hawksworth simply blasted between two tackles and ran beyond full-back Mark Sanderson too.

The restart was fumbled by Hey, giving the District an attacking scrum, and Jack Carling was held inches short from a second rep team try.

They also got a repeat set from an attempted interception but were denied when Matt Chilton read his brother’s little grubber and got down smartly.

At the other end, veteran winger Saxton, looking to win another contract, had a try ruled out for offside in back play.

But there was no denying Harry Carter on the stroke of half-time as he breezed through some poor defence from dummy-half to make it 24-6.

That scoreline was a little harsh on the rep team, the softness of the tries not really reflecting their efforts overall.

Liam Jackson, the Knights’ trialist from Heworth, replaced Delaney at half-back for the start of the second half, with Matt Chilton also switching from centre to full-back, Robson withdrawn.

The Knights were given a big worry early on as Batchelor departed, after being on the wrong end of a huge hit-up by big Tim Stubbs – a big performer in the third quarter. Shoulder damage was the immediate fear, with the second-row to be checked out.

Jackson showed his potential when spotting a gap following a scrum but sub Jake Normington could not take in his smart pass with space in front of him.

Instead, the District began a period of ascendancy and were rightly rewarded.

Player-coach Leigh Paul-Rientoul, on as sub and rolling back the years, sent a perfect kick in goal but the defence scrambled it dead.

Nevertheless, the pro team were tested again on the repeat set initially by very good hands, and then from a kick – which brought their second try.

The ball was fumbled on the line by Matt Chilton and Ant Chilton pounced again, converting again.

The Knights were rattled. A high tackle by Jackson on Hunt spawned a melee involving every player on the pitch, with Sam Scott, for the Knights, and Elliot Bulmer, for the District, being sin-binned.

The feistiness if anything raised the Knights’ game, having hitherto looked to be going through the motions.

Carter in particular lifted things and duly got a try from a Tim Spears offload.

Within 60 seconds, quicker play and smart hands from Chris Siddons, saw Matt Chilton race in from half-way.

Chilton got his second five minutes from time, with a fine finish after Normington had provided the assist. Delaney, back out there, added the goal.

And hooker Will Jubb rounded off the try-scoring on the hooter with a dummy from dummy-half, Delaney again converting.


Knights: Robson, Saxton, M Chilton, Hey, Mazive, Delaney, C Robinson, Ronan Dixon, Jubb, Siddons, Scott, Batchelor, Spears. Subs: Carter, Douglas, Rory Dixon, Jackson, Kelly, Hawksworth, Normington.

Tries: Mazive 8, 14; Hawksworth 34; Carter 40, 65; M Chilton 66, 75; Jubb 80.

Conversions: C Robinson 8, 14, 34, 40, 66; Delaney 75, 80.

Sin-binned: Scott 60.

District: Sanderson, Hunt, Potter, Downes, Harris, A Chilton, Elliott, Stubbs, Carling, Deighton, Fitzsimmons, Hill, Watling. Subs: Coverdale, Hayes, Endersby, Smith, Bulmer, Bromwich, Byrnes, Cambridge, Paul-Rientoul.

Tries: A Chilton 20, 55.

Conversions: A Chilton 20, 55.

Sin-binned: Bulmer 60.