London Broncos bowed out of the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup at the first hurdle on Sunday following a 22 – 24 defeat at the hands of York City Knights.
The Broncos gave debuts to three players as they started their cup campaign. Ollie Ashall-Bott came in for his first start since signing from Widnes Vikings and Josh Hodson & Will Blake more both stepped up from the reserves side and into the fray.
The home side started like a rocket and with just over one minute on the clock Rhys Curran had broken the line and Daniel Hindmarsh was over for the try. Cory Aston, who took over the kicking duties from a rested Kieran Dixon, missed the conversion and the hosts were four points ahead.
11 minutes later the Broncos produced another flowing move along the line and this time Tuoyo Egodo was on the end of it to go over for the hosts second score of the game, Aston again missed the conversion and the lead was out to eight points to nil.
Only three more minutes were added to the clock when the Broncos went over again this time from a great line through from Rhys Curran who was over for try number 3 within 15 minutes. Aston missed the conversion as his attempt was held up in the wind and the Broncos now led 12 – 0.
York City Knights kept on believing and they put together some good sets throughout the first half but the London defence was holding firm.
Their tenacity finally paid off just as the halftime hooter approached as on 37 minutes James Green ran onto a crash ball and was over for the first Knights try of the afternoon. Connor Robinson converted and as the hooter sounded Aston put a drop goal attempt wide of the posts and the Broncos went in ahead by 12 – 6.
The Knights came out and were on the front foot from the whistle for the second half to get underway and within four minutes had scored as Jordan Baldwinson crashed over next to the posts. Robinson again converted and the scores now level and York looked hungry for more.
And more they got only two minutes later as Marcus Stock ran onto another ball and straight through the Broncos line to score. Robinson made it three from three and much to the amazement of the home crowd the Knights now led 18 -12.
On 49 minutes Eloi Pelissier had collected the ball at dummy half just inside their territory and he weaved acorss the pitch and suddenly he had found the gap and left the defenders for dead to go over for another Broncos try. Aston converted his first of the afternoon and the Broncos had tied it back up at 18 – 18
It was the Broncos who would strike again first as the contest went backwards and forwards and a long pass out to Guy Armitage saw the rangy centre power over the line with the help of Egodo to touch down in the corner. Aston missed the kick and the Broncos held a four point lead with 25 minutes still left to play.
Sets were traded back and forth and the clocked ticked down with the lead still intact but in the balance.
Then on 78 minutes London hearts were broken as Keinhorst managed to get over the line to score what turned out to be the winner. Robinson took his time with the kick as the time ran down but converted to give the visitors a two point lead with less than a minute left.
The hooter went and the London Broncos had fallen at the first time of asking and the Knights now move onto round five.
Head Coach Danny Ward said, “We played some fantastic football at the start and when we made some changes it all seemed to go a bit wrong. We lost our shape and went off of the game plan really. Some of the boys just seemed to be making it up when the pressure was on a little bit. Going off script and too much madness lost it for the team.”
Next up are Featherstone Rovers at home next Sunday 1st March and Ward and his side will be looking to get back to winning ways.
LONDON BRONCOS,:- ASHALL-BOTT, HODSON, ARMITAGE, OGDEN, EGODO, ASTON, MEADOWS, KRASNIQI, DAVIS, BATTYE, HINDMARSH, CURRAN, FOZARD.
INTERCHANGES :- NORMAN, WALTERS, PELISSIER, BLAKEMORE.
TRIES :- HINDMARSH 1′, EGODO 12′, CURRAN 16′, PELISSIER 49′, ARMITAGE 54′.
GOALS :- ASTON 1/5
YORK CITY KNIGHTS:- MARSH, WALLIS, KEINHORST, SALTER, HEY, JOHNSTON, ROBINSON, TEANBY, JUBB, CLARKSON, WASHBROOK, SCOTT, SPEARS.
INTERCHANGES :- BRINNING, GREEN, BALDWINSON, STOCK
TRIES :- GREEN 37′, BALDWINSON 44, STOCK 47′, KEINHORST 78′
GOALS :- ROBINSON 4/4