KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP ONE
OXFORD RL’s first match at Henley ended in a 58-16 defeat to leaders York City Knights.
The game was switched to Dry Leas with Oxford’s regular Iffley Road base out of action for renovations.
And although outplayed, the hosts had the consolation of a debut try from triple Oxford University rugby union Blue Sam Egerton.
Captain Alex Thompson scored twice in the second half, but his side lost second row JJ Baird to a knee injury.
Oxford coach Tony Benson said Baird’s early injury was a massive loss to his team, revealing he won’t be able to play for six to eight weeks.
He said: “We’re down by 12 players and we’ve gone into the game having exhausted players from the Oxford Cavaliers team.
“It was one of the prop’s second ever game of rugby league and our full back’s (Egerton) first game.
“Other props only have played a handful of games and York got us in the middle.
“We’ve learned a lot from it and we will come back a lot stronger.”
Oxford slipped to eighth with their home defeat and London Skolars beating Hemel Stags.
York were on the board in their first attack with the Ben Dent reaching past two Oxford defenders to score.
The hosts responded quickly, capitalising on a penalty 30 metres from their opponents’ try-line with Egerton arcing his run to beat the Knights’ challenges and levelling the game.
York then piled on the pressure and were rewarded in the 12th minute when dual-registered Castleford player Ben Reynolds, who kicked nine conversions, grubbered for Brad Day to score the first of a hat-trick.
Oxford had a great opportunity to respond immediately, winning a scrum 20 metres from York’s try-line, but Tommy Connick, who kicked two conversions, knocked on.
The hosts rued the missed chance when the Knights went up the other end and Jack Lee pierced through the defence to extend their lead.
Baird injured his knee in the lead-up to the try.
Day then grabbed his second try after a sweeping move from left to right.
Oxford had a sustained period of play in their opponents’ half until the moment of the match.
With Oxford attacking on the final tackle, Connick lofted the ball out to the right wing and Dent, under pressure from two charging Blues players, won the battle and went on to run the length of the pitch to score.
Knights boss Gary Thornton called the try “absolutely sensational.”
York carried on where they left off after the break with Kris Brining capitalising on a loose ball to get on the scoresheet and James Saltonstall scoring his own wonder try, running fully 50 metres to the try-line.
Thompson replied with two much-needed tries for the hosts either side of efforts from James Ford and Ed Smith for the visitors.
York had the final word when Day completed his hat-trick, ghosting past a weak and demoralised Oxford backline.
Oxford RL: Egerton, Parker, Mulkeen, Brooker, Briggs, Rice, Connick, Blaney, Sharratt, Davies, Baird, Hoggins, Thompson. Reps: Hayles, Newton, Vickers, Evans.
Latest Sport news
12:00pm Wednesday 25th November 2015
WATCH the main moments from Oxford United's 1-1 draw at home to Newport County in Sky Bet League Two.
9:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015
PATRICK Hoban felt Oxford United could not have done more to beat Newport County after the visitors hung on for a 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium.
9:00am Wednesday 25th November 2015
ABI Haynes and Amberley Vircavs both fired doubles as Kidlington Under 16s maintained their 100 per cent record with a 5-1 win away to Benson United.
7:50am Wednesday 25th November 2015
Dorchester put league form to the back of the minds to edge Westminster 6-5 on penalties and avoid an exit in the first round of the North Berks Charity Shield, writes Phil Annets.
7:50am Wednesday 25th November 2015
JACK Morton, Kevin Rookes and Jason Lonsdale all hit doubles for Carterton Town A in an 8-0 thrashing of visitors Combe in the Witney & District FA’s Fred Ford Cup third round, writes ANTHONY BARLOW.
7:40am Wednesday 25th November 2015
Luke Manning’s double helped Hailey into the third round of the John Fathers Junior Shield with a 4-1 win at North Oxford Con Club.
6:50am Wednesday 25th November 2015
THE Cherwell League will play 50-over cricket next season – but only in the top flight.
11:00pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
PATRICK Hoban expertly struck an equaliser as Oxford United came from behind to draw with Newport County at the Kassam Stadium.
10:52pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
6:52pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
Midfielder Ellen Hopkins proved to be Tower Hill Ladies’ penalty shoot-out hero, donning the gloves to save two spot-kicks as they reached the semi-finals of the OFA County Cup at the expense of Benson Lionesses.