YORK City Knights head coach James Ford has admitted he has a “real conundrum” on his hands over future half-back selection.

Matty Marsh and Riley Dean were picked in the halves for York in their 64-16 rout over Swinton Lions following injuries to regular playmaker Brendan O’Hagan and Hull KR loanee Joe Keyes.

And the pair seized the chance by bagging six tries between them, with Marsh particularly impressive with his haul of four having been shifted from his usual position at full-back.

As a result, Ford has a headache over which pairing he goes with in the halves, with as many as four now vying for starting spots.

“It’s a real conundrum for us,” said Ford. “We’ve gone from having no halves to potentially having four next week.

“Matty has been one of our best players for a number of years at full-back. At full-back, he’s not only developed as a player but as a person as well.

“He’s dropped back into the halves for us this season. He was excellent away at Sheffield and he was excellent again today.

“I thought Riley was good too. Riley always plays with class and he’s capable of unpicking defences, of that I have no doubt. We’ve asked him to improve in one or two areas and, in the large, he did.

“I was really pleased with what Riley did as a 19-year-old half-back and he looked like a really good prospect. He’s a mature bloke and he trains to an exceptional level. You can tell he’s got an awful lot of potential and we’re really happy with what he’s produced.”

On O’Hagan and Keyes, Ford added: “Brendan is still struggling with a hamstring injury so I don’t think I’ll have to make that decision this week.

“From what those two boys have served up today, it would take a brave coach to change it. They have executed what I wanted them to do and that’s all I can ask.

“Keyesy pulled out on Thursday, so our weekly injuries go on.

“He’s had a reoccurrence of a back spasm, so Marshy and Riley have done exceptionally well to go in at reasonably short notice and serve up the performance they did.”

As well as the eye-catching attacking performances of the halves, the defensive showing from York’s forwards was also particularly impressive.

On their first appearances after injuries, Ford was able to name Chris Clarkson, Danny Kirmond and Jordan Baldwinson in the forward pack.

Ford said: “I thought Clarky gave us better shape and leadership in the middle in terms of support efforts and his ball movement I thought was excellent.

“Jordan Baldwinson was also excellent, he gives us good shape and energy in there.

“Kirmo was good. He had a strong game in the back row and then he did a stint as a centre, so he was rolling back the years.”

The Knights head coach also reported a fairly clean bill of health in his 17-man squad after the win at Swinton, having lost several players through injury mid-game through recent weeks.

“We took (Liam) Salter off at half-time because of a knock to his back but we’re hopeful that by taking him off, he’ll be ok for next week,” Ford continued.

“Stocky limped off with what we think is a minor issue and we didn’t put Clarky back on because we wanted to manage the load on his return ahead of next week.

“Generally, it’s getting better and we’re not far off being really healthy. The medical team are working over-time and doing a great job, so I’m really proud of what they’re doing for us.

“So we’re not far off being in a really good position.”

Loanee Lewis Peachey has been recalled by his parent club Castleford Tigers. Forward Peachey joined on a two-week loan from the Super League outfit a fortnight ago.