Knights Finish In Play Off Places Second Time Around

Such a lot happening recently it's been impossible to keep up in the pages of this blog. Perhaps best to begin catching up by featuring the latest photographing action and then looking at a few other of the past few weeks' highlights. A return to Castle Park Doncaster then for a Knights crunch match against Jersey Reds. The term 'must win game' is an overused cliche nowadays but in this case it was true. Defeat would virtually put an end to any hopes the Knights had for bagging a play off place with only one more game to go against table topping London Irish after this one. Jersey, a mere two points behind the Knights at start of play and with play off ambitions of their own, were not going to make things easy for the home side.

It was a bright day - not a cloud in the sky - and the temperature was high; real T-shirt weather. Crucially the Knights began well, opening the scores with a penalty from Dougie Flockhart. Although the Reds drew level shortly after, a long running try from the swift Tyson Lewis (above) eased the tension for home supporters and they were able to maintain a lead throughout. You can read a more detailed report of the game on the Knights' website.

Glen Young wins the ball and a penalty straight from the kick-off

Basking in the glow of a 24-20 victory the Knights players, staff and supporters were delighted to learn that their other play off rivals, Cornish Pirates, had surprisingly lost to Richmond, thus ending their hopes of a place in the top four.

Glen Young airborne again - this time charging down a defensive clearance

So, for the second year running Doncaster Knights are into the end of season play offs. That final game against London Irish will determine whether they'll finish in third or fourth place and will also determine who their play off semi final opponents will be. Whatever happens though, a top four position once more is a real accomplishment.

Jack Ram - competitive throughout

There were fine performances all over the field and many opportunities to photograph great and furious action. Just a few highlights below: Alex Shaw in typical aggressive competitive mode and great to see back in action after a long spell of injury, scrum half Michael Heaney with one of many defence splitting passes and man of the match Tyson Lewis once more on a burst resulting in a try that was ultimately disallowed. Still a great action picture though!

You can see more pictures from the game on Flickr, including one or two of the post match celebrations. Finally, here's a shot of the Knights' Matt Challinor, another of the game's heroes, delicately balancing a match ball before play. Delighted it was used in a tweet by England Rugby, reporting on the weekend's results.