It was quarter final night in the 1895 Cup with York City Knights playing host to the Batley Bulldogs. York beat Newcastle in the last round to progress, while Batley registered a win against Rochdale.
Both sides made changes for this midweek match, resting some seasoned professionals and giving the opportunity to some youngsters. Eight changes for York, but just one enforced change for Batley as Don Brambini was unavailable for selection due to injury.
This is the second meeting between the two sides in 2019 with the Knights winning the encounter at the beginning of May by 28-24 in a very closely fought game. Both sides were just two wins away from a famous Wembley appearance in the curtain raiser game to the Challenge Cup.
A breakaway try from Connor Robinson, picking up the ball off a Batley error, allowed the scrum half to spring fifty metres down the wing to score in the corner. A superb touchline kick from Robinson extended the lead to six points.
Great Batley defence kept them in the game and on twenty-three a miss-out pass from Paul Brearley ended in the hands of Jonny Campbell to summersault over the line to score. Louis Jouffret added the extras, again from the touchline to level the score.
Both sides had opportunities to score over the coming minutes but errors close to the line cost points and as the half time hooter sounded the game was tied up at 6-6 after and end to end forty minutes.
Four minutes after the restart Robinson kicked a thirty metre penalty goal to edge his side ahead, an indication of how close the home side though the game might be.
Three quick penalties to York should have seen the home side over for their second try but on the second play they spilled the ball five out from the line. After regaining possession the Knights knocked on just short of the Batley line as they looked certain to score.
The Bulldogs went down the other end of the field and scored themsleves through Sam Wood after a Jack Broadbent flicked pass. Jouffret was unable to kick the conversion but with fifteen minutes remaining the visitors had hit the front.
A length of the field try from Jouffret, picking up the ball ten from his own line after a York spill and sprinting to the line for the four pointer before being mobbed by his team mates. Dave Scott added the conversion for 16-8 to the Bulldogs.
Will Jubb set up a grandstand finish on seventy-five when he dived on a Liam Harris, outside of the boot, kick to ground. Robinson added the conversion for 14-16. The game in the balance.
With the final hooter warming up Batley held on too long in the tackle gifting Robinson a penalty attempt from the half way line. The hooter sounded and he slotted the ball between the uprights heralding golden point extra time.
York kicked off the extra period and as Batley returned the ball Jouffret kicked a drop goal from forty metres which sailed betwen the uprights for a sensational win for the underdogs.
For a fringe cup competition in its inaugral season, todays game at Bootham Crescent served up a treat as York and Batley slogged it out for a place in the semi-finals. Just when it looked like Batley had the game sewn up they gifted possession, and a penalty, for them to draw level on the final hooter. Playing wide down the left on their first attack it seemed that Batley had boxed themselves in, but a superb drop goal from Louis Jouffret sealed the win.
Knights: Chilton, Mazive, Salter, Hey, Oakes, Harris, Robinson (T, 4G), Baldwinson, Jubb (T), Blagborough, Jordan-Roberts, Kelly, Stock. Subs: Carter, Dixon, Dupree, Porter.
Bulldogs: Scott (G), Walker, Smeaton, Broadbent, Campbell (T), Jouffret (T, G, DG), Yates, Dickenson, Leak, Lillycrop, Downs, Brearley, Manning. Subs: Brown, Taira, Ward, Wood (T).
Referee: Tom Grant.
Full-Time: 16-16, 16-17 after Golden Point.