YORK City Knights will head to Wembley for the first time since 1931 after securing a 36-22 victory over Swinton Lions in the 1895 Cup.

York led by just one score in a nip-and-tuck first half but their quality eventually told as they added three more tries after the break to secure a famous victory.

There have been plenty of success stories in the James Ford and Jon Flatman era and this is surely right there.

Having been playing at community grounds only a few years ago, they will now head to the country’s national stadium for a cup final next month.

On the field, this was a much-improved performance from the Bradford defeat last week, with the team showing two changes from that game, both of them being enforced.

Injured pair Ben Jones-Bishop and Brendan O’Hagan missed out, with Jason Bass replacing the former on the wing while Riley Dean returned the halves.

He was partied by Mikey Lewis who featured there for the first time since joining on loan from Hull Kingston Rovers, with Matty Marsh back at full-back.

Adam Cuthbertson was the preferred starter to Jordan Baldwinson at prop forward.

The returning Bass showed some signs of rustiness early on when his drop handed Swinton a set 10m out from the York line.

The Knights were strong in defence though and forced Mitch Cox into touch as the visitors spread the ball wide.

In the following set, York immediately punished Swinton. Head coach James Ford had spoken in the week of the importance of not conceding six-agains and when Swinton did, it saw York go in front.

After a half-break from Dean, Marsh put Liam Salter through a gap for the centre to race under the posts and hand an easy conversion to Kieran Dixon, who would score all his six goal attempts.

Any thoughts that it would be one-way traffic after that early score were sorely mistaken as Swinton fought back and were fully deserving of their equaliser.

It came after a well-weighted Martyn Ridyard grubber forced a drop-out and then Geronimo Doyle’s cut-out pass put Mike Butt over in the corner.

Ill-discipline was costly for York at Bradford and it proved so again when, after conceding back-to-back penalties and a six-again -  the latter penalty being a needless late hit on Ridyard by Lewis - Ronan Michael crashed over for the Lions. Conversions from Ridyard followed both scores.

As the half reached its midpoint, York found some inspiration from the bench and scored through interchange Marcus Stock when the forward beat two lines of defence to barge over.

A confident York came mightily close to moving back in front afterwards. They won a six-again, a penalty and a drop-out to camp themselves on the Swinton line, but the pressure faded out when another Lewis pass hit the deck.

Before half-time though York did find a third try. After a Lewis kick won a drop-out, Marsh raced close and delivered a brilliant midair offload from which Ryan Atkins touched down.

That put York 18-12 ahead at the break.

York picked up from where they left off in the second half, scoring almost immediately after the interval.

On the back of a penalty, the Knights marched upfield and the impressive Kriss Brining scooted out of dummy half and over the whitewash.

The hooker came close to doubling his personal tally minutes later as, again from a Knights penalty, he was held up.

It looked as if York’s discipline may again put them in trouble when Swinton won back-to-back penalties but the hosts defence held firm.

It looked as if the Knights had settled it when a classy switch right saw Danny Kirmond pierce the try-line from Dean’s pass.

But Swinton had other ideas and Butt grabbed his second try from a tidy inside pass from Luis Roberts. Ridyard’s conversion struck the post to leave the deficit at 14 points.

With the clock ticking down and Wembley now within touching reach, the York nerves were settling in.

Atkins tackled Roberts in the air as York began to give away penalties and Kirmond could not take Dixon’s pass 30m from the Lions line.

Then, with 11 minutes to go, finally the cup tie was settled and the Wembley chants could properly begin.

A solid hit by Dixon set the ball loose and Lewis was on hand to pick up and race away to score underneath the posts.

Somewhat typically of the confident youngster, there was an arm-in-the-air celebration shortly before scoring for good measure.

And justifiably so, 20 points the lead to York with only ten minutes remaining.

It was close to being a 21-point advantage when Dean lined up a well-worked field goal attempt but it was ruled as a miss by the officials.

At the death, Swinton got another try on the board with winger Mike Butt completing his hat-trick by diving in at the corner with numbers on the flank. Ridyard’s kick was good though ultimately it would be too little too late.

For the first time in 90 years, York are off to Wembley.

York: Marsh, Bass, Salter, Atkins, K. Dixon, Dean, Lewis, Teanby, Jubb, Cuthbertson, Kirmond, Scott, Clarkson.

Subs (all used): Brining, Baldwinson, Stock, Green.

Tries: Salter (5), Stock (25), Atkins (37), Brining (43), Kirmond (54), Lewis (69)

Goals: K. Dixon (6/6)

Swinton: Doyle, Roberts, Lloyd, Cox, Butt, Ridyard, Hansen, Michael, Waterworth, Brooks, Meadows, Gregson, Brickhill.

Subs (all used): Jones, Brogan, Hope, Green.

Tries: Butt (14, 58, 78), Michael (18)

Goals: Ridyard (3/4)

York’s star man: Kriss Brining. Made an immediate impact off the bench and his try set the tone in the second half.

Attendance: Not give