Lancaster 17 – 28 York
York won this physical battle that ebbed and flowed despite a number of handling errors and stoppages created a rather fragmented game. Lancaster were the “better team for large periods of the match but failed to be as clinical as they needed to be” to beat the visiting side according to their captain, prop Henry Hilton. The Lancaster forward pack saw a dominant start to the game in the centre of the park but this forced York out wide to their greatest strength: the wingers and backs had a successful game, scoring three out of their four tries from wide areas.
The Lancaster XV fought valiantly, despite going 17-0 down to the visitors. A try either side of half time and some aggressive counterattacking plays gave great momentum to the chasing team; but ill-discipline and a strong place-kicking display from the York fly-half allowed the visitors to keep the scoreboard ticking in their favour. An essential if you are to win a match such as this.
The guard of honour off the field for the winning side had a bitter taste at the end of this one, there had been big expectations of a Lancastrian victory for Hilton and his team: “it is unfortunate to lose in that way. Within the club we always thought that if anyone was going to lose this weekend it would be the firsts!”, joked a forlorn character before paying tribute to the day’s opponents, “that York team has my upmost respect, the better team won today.”