YORK Knights head coach Andrew Henderson believes his side did not deserve to leave Barrow Raiders empty-handed this afternoon.

Despite twice holding the lead at a blustery Craven Park, a Brad Walker drop-goal at the death secured a dramatic 15-14 triumph for the hosts, as the Knights’ wait for their first points of the Betfred Championship season extends into a fourth round.

Will Jubb, reinstated as starting hooker, got the Knights off to a dream start after burrowing over with 16 minutes played, but with injuries to experienced outside backs Will Dagger and Jimmy Keinhorst forcing a reshuffle, both Ryan Shaw and Max Clarke profited to give the Raiders a slender 8-6 half-time lead.

It took until the 63rd minute for makeshift centre Oli Field to open the scoring after the break, with Charlie Severs then notching his first Knights try to put the visitors 14-8 to the good.

However, an equalising try from full-back Luke Cresswell set up a tense final five minutes, and with the swirling wind doing York no favours, Walker duly delivered the winning drop-goal just over a minute from time.

Despite seeing their winless run extended, Henderson was pleased with his side’s performance in the challenging conditions, admitting that he did not think that they got what they deserved.

“It was really unfortunate,” the Knights boss conceded. “We always knew it was going to be a tough assignment up here.

“It was tough conditions, a heavy pitch and horrendously swirling wind as we saw with the goal kickers for both teams. It was tough to play into.

“It’s one of those days today where I feel like we probably didn’t get what we deserved.”

The Knights’ discipline was noticeably tighter – bar a second-half incident involving prop Ukuma Ta’ai that was put on report – with captain Liam Harris the fifth player to receive a ban this season after a tip tackle in last weekend’s defeat to Toulouse Olympique.

Henderson was pleased with his side’s patient play in the challenging conditions, and lauded the way that they banded together after losing both Keinhorst and Dagger early on.

“I thought we controlled the game for large parts,” he reflected.

“I thought we worked tirelessly defensively for one another. I thought we were really patient today because it wasn’t the conditions in which you could really throw the ball around - the ball’s getting stuck in the mud, and it’s very windy so you had to keep things pretty tight.

“I think we did a really good job of sticking to that plan.

“Ultimately, it was five minutes before half time and five minutes before the end of the game where we’ve lost the game essentially. So for 70 minutes there, I thought we were in control of the game and the better side.

“Obviously again we faced some adversity as a group losing both Jimmy Keinhorst and Will Dagger, two outside backs, within the first 15 or 20 minutes of the game and we had to reshuffle things and it put a lot of pressure on us.

“But that’s where I’ve got to give our team a massive rap. The way we handled that playing virtually three quarters of the game with only 15 players and players having to play out of position, I thought that we did a tremendous job in managing that.

“I just really feel for the playing group today and I do feel like we deserved something from that contest. It’s a really tough one to take.

 “I think we have improved on where we were the last two weeks, so there’s a lot of positives to take from that. But the reality is, we’re still on no points in the competition.”