Whitehaven 21 York City Knights 20 (after extra time)

Whitehaven: Miller, Calvert, Parker, Taylor, Burns, Aiye, Crook, Shackley, Tilley, Riley, Holliday, McAvoy, Forster. Subs (all used): Newton, Roper, Olstrom, Holland.

Tries: Parker 31, 55; Holland 40.

Conversions: Crook 31, 40, 55.

Penalty: Crook 45.

Drop goal: Roper 106.

Sent off: none.

Sin-binned: Aiye 43.

Knights: Robson 8, Morrison 8, Haynes 6, Hey 7, Saxton 6, C Robinson 7, Harris 6, Dixon 7, Ellis 8, Siddons 7, Batchelor 8, Mallinder 8, Spears 8. Subs (all used): Carter 6, Moran 7, A Robinson 8, Porter 7.

Tries: Robson 5, 70; Batchelor 12; Ellis 64.

Conversions: C Robinson 5, 64.

Penalties: none.

Sent off: none.

Sin-binned: none.

Man of the match: Joe Batchelor – the second-row returned from two weeks off and had a stormer, in both attack and defence, in a tough pack effort in terrible conditions that probably suited Whitehaven’s forwards.

Referee: John McMullen (Wigan) – he marshalled a difficult, tense game well enough but there were curious decisions both ways.

Penalty count: 11-11

Half-time: 12-10

Weather: increasingly persistent showers on a heavy pitch.

Attendance: 853

Moment of the match: Ash Robson marked his return from suspension with two tries, including the equaliser for York with 10 minutes to go of normal time.

Gaffe of the match: this goes to whoever made up the rule whereby if the ball hits the ref the attacking team get a scrum. A horribly off-target drop-goal attempt hit John McMullen, who had no option but to award Whitehaven the put-in 15 yards from York’s line. From it, they finally got the match-winning drop goal. This is no way to lose a game, never mind an epic play-off semi-final.

Gamebreaker: Ste Roper’s drop goal in the 126th minute of an amazing encounter.

Match rating: simply incredible drama with tension rising with every passing minute – all ended by heart-breaking agony for York. That they have played their part in what is thought to be a world record for the longest-ever competitive professional rugby league match is little consolation. It lasted over 105 minutes, beating the previous longest of 104 set in 1997 by Queensland and New South Wales in the old Super League Tri-Series down under.