YORK City Knights secured their first league win in seven matches after overcoming Swinton Lions 46-10 in the Beftred Championship.

Here are five things that we learnt from the game.

1. Huge relief at a Championship win for York

While York head coach James Ford was reluctant to describe the win over Swinton as a relief after the club’s miserly run of form in the league, that may well have been the main emotion for many fans.

The Knights were on a run of six straight league defeats heading into the game and languishing just outside the relegation places.

And though Ford was right to point out that there were several positive aspects in the team’s recent performances, professional sport is ultimately a results business and pre-season expectations were much higher than the 12th position that York found themselves in.

The major challenge for York now is backing up that win against the much tougher opposition that lie in wait over the coming couple of months.

Sheffield Eagles, Widnes Vikings and Featherstone Rovers - who the Knights take on in the next three weeks - will all give a stern examination of just likely it is that York can push for a strong finish to the end of the season.

2. Hard to read too much into the result

Without taking away from a strong performance by York, which was clinical in attack both at the start and end of the game, it is only right to point out that they were up against a Swinton side that have lost every league they have played this year.

And, given that they were without key players such as Mike Butt, Martyn Ridyard and Rhodri Lloyd among others, it was always going to be a big ask for the Lions.

York’s offence deserves praise from the way in which they raced out of the blocks to all but seal the win inside the first 10 minutes before finishing with a flourish against their visibly tiring opponents.

But both before and after half-time they gave Swinton too much easy possession and had it not been for some, on occasion, comical handling from handling by the visitors, York could have been in trouble.

As aforementioned, upcoming matches against fellow play-off challengers will be significantly telling.

3. Return of key spine players makes huge impact

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the return of York's hey players to the spine of the team made a huge difference against Swinton and also provided some welcome relief to the consistent makeshift nature of this season.

Matty Marsh came back into the side after his coronavirus-related issues and lined up alongside Mikey Lewis at half-back.

Having two top-quality halves leading the team around the field and providing running threats through the middle was a stark contrast to the defeat to Newcastle Thunder when winger Ben Jones-Bishop and back-rower Chris Clarkson started there earlier this month.

Also, at hooker, it was a welcome sight to see Corey Johnson and Will Jubb back in tandem, with the former providing two great assists from the bench in the second half.

The Leeds Rhinos loanee's return after ineligibility last week also meant that Jubb was able to have shorter and more effective stints on the field rather than having to complete full matches as has occasionally been the case this year.

4. But question marks remain at half-back

This weekend saw York field their 11th different pairing at half-back in Marsh and Lewis but that may be the last we see of that particular duo.

The latter was playing the final game of his two-week loan from Hull Kingston Rovers and continued to impress with his short passing, running game and high-energy defence.

Whether the Knights can keep him at the club, as they hope to, remains unknown at present.

Lewis would seem to be behind Jordan Abdull, Brad Takairangi and Rowan Milnes in the Robins' half-back pecking order, but with the Robins currently on a run of three games in 10 days, head coach Tony Smith may well call upon Lewis to rotate.

Knights fans will though hope that the 20-year-old remains at York for the remainder of the season after a string of impressive displays over the course of his two loan spells.

5. Impressive debut from Corey Hall

Another eye-catching York loanee was Leeds Rhinos centre Corey Hall who made his bow for the club against Swinton.

The 18-year-old looked years beyond his age against the Lions with some strong carries from backfield.

But most impressive of all what the brilliant try that he created for Kieran Dixon in the first half.

York began on their own 40m line before shifting to the left where Hall broke the line and assisted Dixon's touchdown.

With Ryan Atkins and Liam Salter soon to return from isolation and Tyme-Dow Nikau, Jason Bass and Hall competing for spots, York look to have real strength at centre.