York’s power and pace proved too much for Pontefract as they ran in seven tries for nil return to win the game 45-0.

Injuries and unavailability presented selection problems for both sides going into the game, something that many clubs are contending with at this end of a physically demanding season.

York had to shuffle the deck again with those still fit to play. Hayes came in to play prop and Barrick took on the No.7 duties again, meaning that Atkinson stepped into the centre. The versatile Davies picking up the No14 jersey in the starting fifteen.

York kicked off against a stiff breeze, playing down the slope.

The pressure told after 14 minutes, when Mills carried over with a nice supporting line that looked unopposed. Shackleton had his kicking boots on and comfortably slotted his first of five conversions. 7-0.

The stiff breeze against them, York had little option other than to run the ball back at Pontefract which they did to good effect.

Hard carrying by the forwards taking its toll on Pontefract who had to make two early substitutions in the first quarter through injuries.

York took advantage of the disarray the changes caused with some lively running from the back line, but particularly Peplinski who enjoyed and exploited the space he could find with his quick acceleration.

This pattern characterised the first half with York racking up five tries by half time from Mills, Barrick, Croft, Evans and Shackleton. The pick of these was Croft’s.

Pontefract, kicking towards the York 22 to clear their own lines, found the ball being returned by Evans who made good ground down the left hand side, before handing the ball to Fothergill.

Fothergill outpaced two further defenders to take the ball into the Pontefract 22. Tracking in from the wing looking for support he found Croft, no slouch himself, running a good support line to cross the line to the left of the posts unopposed.

At half-time, York were leading 33 -0.

Pontefract may have elected to play with the wind in the first half but as York turned around for the second the wind duly dropped.

As did the tempo of the game. Pontefract kept up their aggression in the tackle and managed to draw York into more of an arm wrestle and seemed to be able to present better pictures to the referee as York conceded a string of penalties that maintained possession for Pontefract for long stints.

Sustained pressure resulted in a line out to York about 5m out. Barrick was as alert as ever and cleaned up the confusion as the throw to the middle missed the jumper, the ball arcing into his arms at the back.

Like a gift, the line in front of him opened up undefended and he simply had to fall across it to break the deadlock in the second half. The conversion by Shackleton took the score to York 40, Pontefract 0.

The resulting pressure in the York 22m area was relieved when Pontefract infringed to give York a penalty on the 22m line. Shackleton stepped up and struck the most majestic of line kicks to take the game into the oppositions 22m area.

For a moment it looked like it was going to bounce into touch, but Pontefract managed to collect and clear the ball.

York remained in the red zone, Pontefract now trying to run the ball out of defence.

Shackleton stripped the ball in the tackle on the centre and fed Davies who used his size and momentum to cross in the right-hand corner with the Pontefract winger clinging on to him. Final score York 45, Pontefract 0.

The result means that York can now finish no lower than fourth in the division, ahead of their final league game of the season against Alnwick on Saturday, April 6.