YORK City Knights fell to a first defeat of the year as they were beaten 16-6 by Halifax in a pre-season friendly at Bootham Crescent.

Although the first half would finish with neither side putting points on the scoreboard, it was an engaging watch.

Halifax went in front from Shaun Robinson’s effort and, despite Matty Marsh’s score levelling matters, Fax secured victory with two late tries – Steve Tyrer and Matty Garside grabbing them.

Former Super League duo Tom Gilmore and Scott Grix provided the moments of quality in the kicking department to steer Fax to victory.

The tempo of the match was set early on with referee Mr Vella awarding three penalties in the opening five minutes, (nine were given in the first half alone) the second of which Halifax so nearly scored from.

Grix stepped inside the York defence and slid over the whitewash, though the referee ruled the try out from the grounding of the ball.

After a dozen minutes, Halifax were over the line once more - but yet again the officials spotted an infringement.

A lovely show of hands down the left flank culminated in Tom Gilmore throwing a cut-out pass to Shaun Robinson who dived in at the corner, though he’d been on the touchline just moments before.

York’s best early route to success was through the high kicking from their talismanic half-back Connor Robinson – formerly of Halifax – who sent spiralling bombs into the Fax half three times, none of which the visitors were able to hold onto.

But the Knights couldn’t capitalise on the West Yorkshire side's errors as the scoreboard remained unaffected as the first period entered its final quarter of an hour.

The attacking quality on show didn’t improve from then onwards.

Tim Spears knocked the ball on as the Knights went into Halifax’s territory and the captain was later warned for a high tackle on Jacob Fairbank – one of the few notable moments to the reminder of the half.

York did produce one final chance when Matty Marsh smartly chased Ben Johnston’s kick in-goal, but Sam Scott’s attempted offload only found Fax hands from the resultant set.

Scoreless it remained at the sound of the half-time hooter.

Halifax looked as if they’d found some offensive fluidity by forcing a drop-out early on after the restart, though the following set only produced a knock on for the away side.

The Knights did threaten thereafter and Marcus Stock was held up in the face of some resistant defence.

But chances were few and far between for both sides.

Around the hour mark, the Knights fans jokingly called for a drop goal attempt with York 25m away from the try-line – a move which would later end with the ball on the floor.

By the hour mark, the deadlock was finally broken.

With Scott Murrell subbed off at the break, Gilmore took the lead kicking duties and sent a cross-field kick over to Robinson who just about managed to ground the ball in the corner. Tyrer then slotted over the difficult conversion.

Castleford Tigers dual registration winger Lewis Carr misjudged the kick from Robinson’s try but made amends with a stunning break, springing the Knights to life.

Joe Porter then forced a deep knock on and from it Robinson’s grubber kick was picked up and touched down over the line by Marsh. Robinson levelled the scores with the successful kick.

The game opened up in the final ten minutes and it was Halifax that took advantage from that.

It was another high kick to the corner which yielded the Fax try, this time down the right side, as Grix’s chip found the hands of make-shift winger Tyrer by the flag.

The scorer was unable to convert his own score but Fax finished strongly and were in again to secure the victory.

Garside was the scorer this time, finding his way through a gap by the right of the sticks.

This time Tyrer was on point with the kick, the match's final points.

York City Knights: Marsh, Sharp, Hey, Salter, Wallis, Johnston, Robinson, Baldwinson, Jubb, Teanby, Washbrook, Porter, Clarkson. Subs (all used): Brining, Green, Scott, Spears, Stock, Bardle, Brown, Carr, Storey.

Tries: Marsh (66); Goals: Robinson (1/1)

Halifax: Grix, Robinson, Tyrer, Woodburn-Hall, Broughton, Hirst, Carlile, Calcott, Garside, Brearley, Larroyer.

Subs (all used): Curtis Davies, Fairbank, Connor Davies, McGrath, Roberts, Hewitt.

Tries: Robinson (59), Tyrer (72), Garside (76); Goals: Tyrer (2/3)

Penalties: 4-7

Man of the Match: Chris Clarkson. A tireless forward for York and strong in the tackle too.

Referee: Mr J Vella