THEY say you make your own luck in life.

That could hardly have rung more true than when York City Knights sealed a 24-6 victory in another stonking Betfred League One encounter at Bootham Crescent, this one against Newcastle.

Heavily depleted, without four pivotal performers, the Knights had been far from their fluid best. They were on the rack, too, their goal-line pounded in searing heat for almost half an hour of the second half as they held onto a slender 10-6 lead.

But the overtime they worked without the ball – not unlike at Doncaster and Newcastle earlier in the season – somehow kept that line intact.

Then, after they broke away to provide a little breathing space with a try against the run of play, Lady Luck smiled on them.

An attacking kick rebounded firmly off a Newcastle ankle straight into Joe Batchelor on the run, and he darted forward before giving Matty Marsh the try.

Thunder, having worked their hosts so hard, had still been in the game even needing two tries, but now they were gone, and the excellent Ash Robson’s late penalty capped matters.

The final scoreline was harsh on the Thunder, but it underlined York’s promotion credentials yet again.

After late fitness tests, boss James Ford made five changes in personnel to the side that won at Keighley.

Half-back Connor Robinson – having been sure to miss out after the high tackle last week, but then named in the 19 – in the end failed his head test.

It meant his record of playing and scoring in every game since his debut over a year ago finally ended. His place was taken by dual-reg Hull KR starlet Marsh.

Also back on dual-reg were forwards Jordan Walne and Josh Johnson, and they replaced injured seasoned stars Tim Spears and Graeme Horne – having big boots to fill.

The other veteran campaigner on the sidelines was Andy Ellis, Ford selecting loanee Dan Maskill to start at hooker with Harry Carter his interchange, Will Jubb rotated out.

Without those old stagers, Ford was banking on others to take command. They certainly stood up to be counted.

Newcastle were missing dangerous full-back Tee Ritson and scrum-half Remy Marginet.

The lightning quick Lewis Young – boy can he run - switched to full-back and was a terror throughout, while Tom Shaw came in at half-back.

Familiar faces were ex-Knights skipper Jack Aldous, and York lads Tyler Craig and Ben Dent – all having a point to prove, and all performing well.

It would have been a particularly emotional day for Craig, a product of the Heworth club, with a minute’s applause being held before kick-off for the late Colin Forsyth, the former York and England star who was so inexorably linked with the east York outfit.

The pace in a cut-and-thrust opening under the sun was admirable, the sides trading dropouts.

Ben Cockayne, continuing at half-back, tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck as much as anyone.

However, a penalty he conceded for lying on – a harsh call – was punished by that man Young.

Jinking in and out at rapid speed, the full-back took out countless defenders before putting a try on a plate for former Knight Dent.

York quickly replied.

Carter was the catalyst. Entering the fray, he injected pace at dummy-half and Thunder were immediately caught out, Cockayne giving Robson an opening on the angle to the right corner.

The full-back, having taken over goal-kicking from Robinson last week, could not convert.

Instead, Shaw booted Newcastle ahead with a penalty following another foul by Cockayne. The former Hull KR star was seemingly trying to put Craig off his game – but the ex-Knights youngster was playing well.

York replied quickly again – again on the back of Carter’s work, winning a penalty.

Cockayne was involved again, before Marsh put Robson on a similar goal-bound line – the full-back this time slipping the ball to Sam Scott to score, and this time converting.

York held on to their 10-6 lead at the break – but not before Young showed his stunning pace again.

Newcastle kicked early from a scrum and Young made up metres on York’s cover to force an error from Cockayne. They switched the ball left and Craig was just denied on the hooter.

York won early territory on the resumption but their attack looked disjointed – the changes in pivotal positions apparent.

After a penalty for obstruction helped Newcastle clear their lines, three more gave them a platforms to attack. A tip-tackle by Jordan Walne and the minor brawl that followed was put on report.

Thunder’s enthusiasm lifted, they pinned the hosts back. York, enthused by their superb defence, repelled them.

It became 12 v 12 as Carter and Newcastle forward Sam Luckley were sin-binned after a second brawl in the game.

Try as they might to get out of defence, more home errors invited more pressure.

Mazive was limping on one wing but Thunder, to the dismay of Mazive's opposite number, attacked the other. A dropout was their only prize – but York’s immense defence held out again.

When the Knights finally got to the end of a set, the superb Robson, so busy in his defensive duties, won a penalty to relieve the pressure.

It wasn’t long before the pressure resumed.

How York held out is one thing. How they found the reserves to score a super try at the other end, 28 minutes into the siege, is another.

Good hands on the left edge opened space for Hey to stretch his legs.

Play was then switched right where Robson’s superbly quick hands were matched only by Batchelor’s, for Oakes to run in. Robson converted.

Newcastle still were in the game. But York won the restart, and soon came Marsh's try, with Robson converting and then adding a penalty won when Thunder went for broke at their own dropout.