YORK City Knights thrashed Swinton Lions 64-16 at the weekend to seal their first league win of the year in emphatic seal.

Here are five things we learnt from the victory.

1. Half-back headaches for James Ford

Due to a series of injuries throughout this year, York have constantly had to chop and change their side, particularly in the halves.

Throughout pre-season, London Broncos recruit Morgan Smith and Australian arrival Brendan O’Hagan had been set to be first-choice half-backs until a season-ending ACL injury to the former led to the loan signing of Warrington Wolves’ Riley Dean.

With Dean cup-tied from the early rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup, Matty Marsh went in alongside O’Hagan until Dean’s return.

A streak of injuries for the Wigan Warriors game meant Marsh and Danny Washbrook went in the halves before O’Hagan lined up with Hull Kingston Rovers loanee Joe Keyes a week later.

Injury again struck, this time to O’Hagan and Keyes, meaning that Marsh and Dean paired up against Swinton to become the sixth different duo of some form.

The pair were tremendous against Swinton though, with Marsh scoring four tries and claiming three assists while Dean bagged a pair of tries and an assist.

Of course, the Knights will have tougher tasks than Swinton to come but, as Ford rightly pointed out post-match, it would take a brave coach to change such a deadly combination as Marsh and Dean at present.

2. Promising debut for Connor Wynne

While Marsh’s move into the halves allowed him to showcase his tremendous attacking qualities in good ball, it also meant that he vacated his usual spot at full-back, though he was ably replaced by debutant Wynne, signed from Hull FC last week on loan for a month.

The highlight of his assured performance was a stunning solo try on 25 minutes as he darted out of dummy half from inside his own half, breached the Swinton defence before streaking clear to the try-line.

Having a natural full-back in the position, rather than a stand-in winger, seemed to benefit York hugely.

Time will tell just how long the Knights can keep hold of Wynne, particularly as Hull are already without injured full-back Jamie Shaul.

3. Defensive effort should be applauded

Having racked up 64 points, more than any other Championship side has managed in 2021, the York attack will naturally take the headlines.

However, the Knights’ defensive effort, particularly in the first-half, should not be forgotten. It took Swinton 25 minutes to put in their first kick inside the York half, such was the tenacity of the visitors to restrict their metres.

Swinton did manage to put some points on the board after half-time but York’s defence had done its job by that point.

4. Timely returns of Chris Clarkson, Danny Kirmond and Jordan Baldwinson

York’s mounting injury list seems to be showing signs of relenting, with Ford reporting no major injury concerns post-match.

He also expressed his delight at being able to recall captain Chris Clarkson and fellow forward Danny Kirmond and Jordan Baldwinson.

Kirmond and Baldwinson each laid on tries for Marsh through their breaks and were part of the pack which dominated Swinton in the early stages.

5. Time management leads to best from Adam Cuthbertson

Also impressing in the forwards was Cuthbertson who was allowed shorter stints thanks to the lack of injury concerns elsewhere and thus was able to bulldoze into the Lions line and find a trademark offload too.

With his leadership qualities, especially noticeable behind-closed-doors, he will be a key player for York in 2021.