YORK City Knights made it two wins from two in pre-season with a 20-14 victory at the John Charles Stadium last night.

It was treated mainly as an academy friendly, but a few of the youngsters in the Knights’ line-up gave coaches Paul March and James Ratcliffe some food for thought – not least trialist Lee Waterman.

The performance of stand-off Danny Grimshaw would also have pleased the coaching duo, as the 22-year-old continues his comeback from knee surgery.

It was his excellent bomb which forced an early dropout as the Knights began well, and he later kicked a 40-20 as he tried with some success to take control, not least with a decent kicking game.

Grimshaw is likely to start the season in the first team with player-coach Paul March suspended, but, as expected, both sides fielded sides otherwise made up predominantly of youngsters and fringe players.

The Knights also included Tom Hodgson and Steve Grundy, who were regular first-teamers at the back end of last season, on the bench, while new signings Chris Clough and Kris Peacock, who are expected to fight for starting shirts, began the match in the back row – although the latter’s game was ended just nine minutes in by a twisted ankle.

Fit-again Johnny Waldron was also back on the wing, but it was the other winger, Tom Stancliffe, who got the scoreboard ticking over after just five minutes following an excellent cut-out pass by second-row Oliver Wilcox-Harrison. Including his two late tries to win the friendly against York Select, this effort made it three tries in seven minutes for the former New Earswick junior.

Waterman, on trial from amateurs Skirlaugh, hit a post with the touchline conversion attempt but by then had already caught the eye with two good insertions into the line, while his excellent long pass almost gave another try to Stancliffe.

As it was, Hunslet went up the other end, aided by a fumble from Adam Endersby, to score through centre Ryan Glynn.

Hunslet had also fielded a youthful team, apart from likely first-choice hooker Richard Chapman and probable first- teamers Antony Thewliss, Craig Cawthray and Stuart Young. Andy Robinson and Danny Cook are also likely to at least be on the fringes.

Also included were stand-off Johnathon Schofield, son of legendary Leeds and Great Britain star Garry Schofield, and Luke Rayner, younger brother of former Hawks and Knights full-back George. Young Rayner played a few first-team games last season.

Young converted Glynn’s try, but York were back ahead as Luke Watling’s kicked forced a dropout, before his pass saw half-back partner Grimshaw glide through to the line. Waterman goaled, and continued to impress before being replaced after half an hour by York College debutant Dan Fairclough, who also showed up well.

A Grimshaw chip brought a try for centre Sam Blaney to end a scrappy period, before Clough’s pass sent in the other centre, Adam Jones, Fairclough’s fine touchline conversion making it 20-6 on half-time.

There were fumbles aplenty for the first 15 minutes of the second half, with neither side completing sets, until Hawks winger Dwaine Nelson reduced the deficit.

Nelson then failed to gather a Watling kick but Waterman, back on in the second-row as the coaching staff switched players round, was denied a try by desperate last-ditch defence. And – after Grimshaw came off after 64 minutes after a decent night’s work – Nelson more than made amends by winning the race to touch down Schofield’s kick.

However, a scrappy second half brought no further scores as York took the victory.

Hawks: Sheldrake, Sheriffe, Richardson, Glynn, Nelson, Schofield, Whitehead, Thewliss, Chapman, Lacey, Cawthray, Watson, Young. Subs (all used): Firm, A Robinson, Cook, Bradley, Conway, Dubas-Fisher, Rayner, Saunders, Thorpe.

Knights: Waterman, Stancliffe, Blaney, Jones, Waldron, Grimshaw, Watling, Hunter, Williams, Endersby, O Wilcox-Harrison, Clough, Peacock. Subs (all used): Hodgson, M Mitchell, Grundy, Ja Stearman, Walton, Lineham, Fairclough.

Referee: C Leatherbarrow.