SKIPTON Knights under the stewardship of Darren Greenwood and Tom Handforth, have made a statement in their first fixture against Todmorden.

A strong Todmorden side, who are also a relatively new team after a 19 year hiatus, came with a 20 strong squad to take on the Knights at Sandylands.

The first few minutes of the game was a cagey affair, with Todmorden having the lions share of the possession. The Knights defence stood up to the test well of what was a big pack of forwards and riding the storm of early pressure.

With the first meaningful attack of the game, the Knights launched a kick down the field and with pressure on the winger forced a mistake. The Knights pounced and opened the scoring.

It wasn’t long before the score was increased with another Knights try.

Todmorden came back strong and managed to force their way over the line. A few key changes in squad rotation before half time, allowed Todmorden a bit more momentum in the run up to half time making the game into a more even contest.

Repeated penalties for offside nearly threatened to ruin the Knights first outing as a team. However, outstanding performances in defence by every Knights player prevented Todmorden from making much of an impact on the scoreboard. At one point the Knights successfully defended 6 repeat defensive sets.

Going into the final quarter of the game the scores were neck and neck. The Knights superior guile and fitness told out as they ran riot. Leading to a final score of 38-20. This rounded off an impressive first performance considering the team has only been training together for less than a month.

Man of the Match as picked by Todmorden was Dean Barritt with two tries on the day, one being an outstanding solo effort from a Todmorden kick off in the final moments of the game.

The team will surely only go from strength to strength as they play and train together more. On this showing the Knights could be a surprise package to many teams in the Yorkshire Merit league this season.