KNOTTINGLEY RUFC emerged with the bragging rights with a 46-6 win over Castleford in Saturday’s Yorkshire One derby after a dominant display in every department.
They did the hard work in the opening half in opening up a 17-6 lead despite playing into a strong wind and if they had stuck to their game plan after the break they could have scored more than their eventual 46 points.
The hosts made a great start when the forwards won a scrum against the head and although the first attack came to nothing they were soon in front as centre Michael Ash - who had a magnificent game - showed great strength to get over the line despite the attention of three Cas defenders.
Steven Rockett’s conversion attempt hit the crossbar, but Knottingley were scoring again on 16 minutes when awarded a penalty after hooker Matt Bradley had secured another one against the head. Opting to run it, scrum-half Steven Seed’s bullet pass found Andy Lund and he handed on to Craig Field, who swallow dived over for a try converted by Rockett to make it 12-0.
Castleford did not let their heads drop and replied with a drop goal in their first real threat in the home half.
Knottingley went close to another touchdown as Jamie Milton’s chip and chase was closed down. They then lost prop Perry Morrison following a rush of blood when the referee had no option but to take action. He was sin-binned and was fortunate not to see red.
With an extra man Cas applied some pressure, but they found the home defence too strong and when they tried to use their kicking game full-back Brad Rowlandson mopped up everything at the back.
The visitors did close the gap to six points with a penalty, but it was 17-6 at the break after Knottingley scored their third try, Simon Chippendale crashing over following a forwards drive led by Carl Clayton from a line-out.
With the wind at their backs Knottingley were straight out of the traps in the second half with Rowlandson going close following a great run. The next phase saw the ball fumbled, but from the resulting scrum the hosts won another against the head and Seed sent Steven Rockett over for a try he converted.
It was not long before the lead was increased further as Kris Whata turned the ball over following a crunching tackle and Seed’s awareness saw him put boot to ball for Paul Rockett to chase. Unable to regather, he dribbled through and Seed followed up to dive on the ball for a converted try and an unassailable lead.
With Knottingley so dominant in the forwards Cas were kept on the defensive and another try followed in the 58th minute when substitute Lee Ackroyd raced in at the corner to score with his first touch.
Try as they might, Castleford could not break the hosts down and they succumbed to the best try of the game late on. A superb move involving Ash, Field, Liam Bradley and Ackroyd was finished off by Seed and Steven Rockett’s conversion put the icing on the cake for Knottingley after one of their best performances of the season.