YORK City Knights will not be going to Wembley this year – after late and painful drama at Bootham Crescent saw them lose a thrilling 1895 Cup quarter-final 17-16 in golden-point extra time.

They looked to be heading out after two tries in six second-half minutes – straight after the hosts had a touchdown chalked off - opened a 16-8 lead for visitors Batley Bulldogs.

But a converted Will Jubb try with six minutes left set up a grandstand finale, and while the hosts did not get a sniff of the whitewash thereafter, a nerveless penalty from the half-way line by Connor Robinson after the final hooter had sounded sent the topsy-turvy tie into overtime.

Home joy was short-lived, though, as Louis Jouffret booted over a fine golden-point drop goal just 70 seconds in.

Batley duly progressed to the semi-finals, now 80 minutes away from running out at the national stadium on Challenge Cup final day.

York had fielded on paper a weakened line-up, with boss James Ford seemingly prioritising the team’s push for an unlikely play-off place but, with injuries and tired bodies in the ranks, he remained adamant this was his strongest line-up for this night.

Full-back Matty Marsh was injured, Jason Bass and Perry Whiteley were rested, and Hull FC loanee Cam Scott was cup-tied having played in the last round on dual-reg for Doncaster against Oldham.

In came Matt Chilton, Hull KR loanee Will Oakes, Brad Hey and Judah Mazive. While Mazive hasn’t played for a while, this was fit-again former York Acorn amateur Chilton’s first game since the end of last season and his first-ever at this level.

In the pack, battering ram Jack Teanby along with veteran stars Graeme Horne, Sam Scott and skipper Tim Spears all got to rest up, while hooker Andy Ellis, who recently answered an SOS to return to the club, was unavailable.

In came Jack Blagbrough, Mike Kelly, Joe Porter, Leeds loanee Tyler Dupree and hooker Harry Carter. Marcus Stock, meanwhile, got to start at loose-forward – and gave an excellent display with some trademark footwork being augmented by hitherto unseen handling.

Liam Harris passed fit to continue in the halves alongside Robinson, who made his 100th career appearance.

Batley were missing playmaker Dom Brambani through injury but had a pretty strong side out.

York went ahead after two minutes 44 seconds.

Sam Smeaton, once of this parish, dropped the ball near half-way and Robinson marked his 100th career appearance by picking up and sprinting home down the touchline, and adding an excellent conversion.

The Knights were next to err, Mazive being held up in his own half and rumbled into touch. Batley threw the ball nicely about looking for opening, until big Paul Brearley spilled a pass while on the charge.

The Bulldogs had territorial advantage for the first quarter, York denied a first attacking set when visiting full-back Dave Scott brilliantly denied Robinson a 40-20. A super Harris break did get the hosts into the red zone but the cover swallowed up Robinson’s chip.

Instead, the visitors equalised – prompting boos all round.

Aided by a couple of penalties, they won a repeat set and tested the defence with good movement. The try, though, came courtesy of an apparent forward pass – notwithstanding the fact it was touched in flight by a defending hand – with winger Jonny Campbell crossing in the corner and Jouffret adding a fine conversion.

York forced a dropout through Harris’ neat through a gap and a good chase.

Harris then found Salter on the charge but his ambitious pass out of the last-man tackle went to ground.

It got a bit niggly – Smeaton at the centre of it – but the bulk of the penalties were going Batley’s way, much to the crowd’s annoyance.

York made the next line break, Hey skipping beyond Smeaton and combining well with Kelly, but the defence held out and it remained 6-6 at the break.

Referee Tom Grant, booed off at the break, appeased the home fans when penalising Batley for crossing as they broke through the line in their own half. Robinson booted the two points from 22 metres out.

Another penalty and brief skirmish followed as Brearley caught Ronan Dixon high.

That, and a decision going against the hosts, only served to fire up the crowd.

The Knights, lifted, duly forced a couple of repeat sets, but the chance went as a risky play down the short side ended with Harris erring.

It was still their turn to have the territory but a rare Batley foray saw them win a dropout of their own as momentum swung again. The officials – Grant and touch judge Tom Crashley on the near side - somehow missed a knock-on, as the pressure continued.

But York repelled it and three penalties for ball stealing took play up the other end, where the teams then traded handling errors.

Hey then sped in, but the try – like twice at Swinton on Sunday – was disallowed for obstruction.

The anger towards the officials grew as Batley went straight up the other end and eked ahead through a try by Sam Wood, who had replaced the temporarily crocked Campbell on the wing.

Should York have gone for two points with one of those penalties?

The seemingly decisive try came on 69 minutes.

York had created a half-chance as Robinson fed Josh Jordan-Roberts, but the ball slipped from the second-row’s grasp. Frenchman Jouffret picked up in his own 20 and, with the hosts reacting slowly, sprinted away, showing great pace to streak clear of the cover.

The same player added the goal for the 16-8 lead.

York weren’t out of it.

Batley were penalised in possession to give the Knights an attacking set and, after Liam Salter was halted inches short, Harris sent a flat kick inside where Will Jubb pounced, Robinson goaling.

It looked like being too little too late but Harris then won a penalty on half-way just as the final hooter sounded.

As the crowd held their collective breath, Robinson struck it beautifully.

Robinson also won the toss for extra time, opting to kick off.

However, a couple of good drives got the visitors into the home half and Jouffret sent over the golden point from 30 metres.