YORK City Knights returned to winning ways after edging past Newcastle Thunder 27-18 in the Betfred Championship Summer Bash. Here are five things we learnt from Headingley.

1. Not a pretty performance but an important victory

York headed to Leeds on the back of two comprehensive wins over Newcastle already in 2022, having beaten the Thunder 42-13 in the Betfred Challenge Cup and 38-6 in the home league meeting.

The Knights were given a far sterner test by Dennis Betts' side at the Summer Bash and it was only Danny Kirmond's 71st-minute try that secured the two points.

As head coach James Ford later admitted, his side were rolled through the middle on occasion, particularly in the first half, and losing starting prop Jack Teanby clearly had an adverse impact.

With that said, York found a way to win and ended their four-match losing streak in the process.

At this business end of the season, results are all important, although improved performances will be hoped for if the Knights are to challenge in the play-offs.

2. Play-off place all but sealed

Speaking of the top six picture, York's win was vital in further solidifying their play-off place.

Hours earlier at the Bash, seventh-placed Widnes had lost out 36-24 to Barrow Raiders, leaving them eight points behind the Knights and with a much inferior points difference.

Ford's side would have to lose at least four times in their last six matches, five of which are against opposition they currently rank above, which appears highly unlikely, to be at risk of dropping out of the six.

Much of the season has been spent in the play-offs but having practically assured themselves a top six spot so early in the season is an achievement that should not go unnoticed.

Granted, many outsiders predicted such a finish for York this season but doing so with such a gap in place above the likes of Widnes, Bradford Bulls and Newcastle is a credit to Ford and his players.

3. Matty Marsh proves his class yet again

While there may be a debate over York's best player, perhaps their most important is inarguably Matty Marsh.

After a three-game absence, Marsh made an immediate impact on his return, assisting Joe Brown's two first-half tries, crossing himself after the break and starting the move for James Glover's score.

Deputy full-back Myles Harrison has done a commendable job in Marsh's stead but the former Hull KR's attacking play is currently on another level.

4. Question marks over Summer Bash venue

The Bash produced some magnificent match-ups, with the Sunday matches in particular all being closely-fought affairs.

Off the field though there are question marks over the venue and the event's role. A combined crowd of 10,763 was the lowest of the six Bash's to be staged in its first trip away from spiritual home Blackpool.

Plenty of supporters have called for a return to Bloomfield Road, although a return to the coastal town has yet to be confirmed.

5. Newcastle still finding their feet as full-time outfit

Having transitioned to a full-time playing squad over the off-season, big things were expected of Newcastle this season.

Currently 10th and closed to the relegation places than to the play-offs is hardly the campaign they would have expected.

It serves as a reminder of the challenges of full-time rugby league at this level, where players can often earn more money playing part-time, and just how far Newcastle are from their much-mooted goal of winning Betfred Super League by 2030.