York City Knights 18-24 Halifax
The York City Knights produced a vastly improved performance in their first Championship home game of the season, going down 24-18 to a strong Halifax outfit.
The Knights were in fact desperately unlucky to lose. Despite a poor start, going 12-0 behind early on, they fought back and looked to have secured a draw courtesy of an Alex Benson try. However, their hopes of two points were dashed by a last gasp Sean Penkywicz try which handed Halifax the victory. For Chris Thorman and his team, the positives far outweigh the negatives despite the defeat, such as Jordan Tansey's successful move to full back and a much improved offensive and defensive display, in addition to securing a losing bonus point due to losing by 12 points or less to get their first competition points of the season.
Elsewhere, table toppers Sheffield Eagles continued their early domination of the competition with a 40-22 victory over the Hunslet Hawks, Jason Demetriou's newly promoted Keighley Cougars got their first win of the season with a narrow 10-8 victory over the Batley Bulldogs, making amends for their Northern Rail Cup defeat to the Bulldogs earlier in the season. Meanwhile, York's previous opponents the Dewsbury Rams made it two wins from two with a comprehensive 36-14 victory over the Swinton Lions, as did Featherstone Rovers, who defeated the Leigh Centurions 36-16 last Thursday.
The Knights have another home match next week, this time in the Challenge Cup third round, where they will face National Conference Premier outfit Hull Dockers on Sunday, kick off 3pm. Last season's third round brought a record breaking 132-0 victory for the Knights over Northumbria University, and a similar margin of victory would undoubtedly be well received. However, the part timers should prove to be far tougher opposition, so an intriguing contest lies in wait.