‘Better team’ knock out Trojans

‘Better team’ knock out Trojans

Thornhill Trojans came out second best in a pulsating Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie to a very well-drilled Haydock team backed by a sizable home crowd that made their presence known throughout. 

At full time the Trojans knew they had been in a game, but there was little doubt that Haydock team were worthy 30-20 winners.

The Trojans effectively lost the game in the first half.

Defensively they were second best and some poor work  presented Haydock with too many opportunities.

Other than one occasion when they were held up over the try line, on every other occasion in the first half when Haydock attacked, they scored.

The Trojans line-up included Liam Green, Joss Ratcliffe, Scott Dyson and Luke Carter for the first time this season. Luke Carter and Scott Dyson both made a good contribution. However, star performers for Thornhill were George Woodcock and man-of-the-match Danny Ratcliffe.

Woodcock always looked dangerous with the ball and scored two tries. Danny Ratcliffe led from the front and scored Thornhill’s opening try.

Roared on by the large crowd, Haydock scored first. The move started with a break down the touchline and swift handling saw Danny Gee take the final pass for a try which Jason Gibson converted.

Thornhill replied in the best possible way. Danny Ratcliffe intercepted a and raced 30 metres to score. The goal attempt was off-target.

However, Thornhill lost the ball straight from the kick-off and some poor tackling allowed Connor Smith to cross and leave an easy goal.

This end-to-end action continued with the Trojans pressing and George Woodcock crashed over in the corner. Woodcock kicked a brilliant goal from out wide.

Good work saw a Haydock player held up before Thornhill briefly took the lead. The ball was chipped forward and George Woodcock collected the ball perfectly then converted for a 16-12 lead.

Then came the critical spell as Haydock scored three tries in the run-up to half time. The first was by Dean Dollen between the sticks, then moments later  a high kick to the corner was read perfectly by Alex James.

On the stroke of half-time Haydock ran a penalty and Daryl Rotherham went over for an unconverted try for a 10 point interval lead.

The Trojans started the second half strongly, helped by the sin-binning of Scott Johnson for a professional foul.

Thornhill thought Jack Gledhill had scored off a great pass from Scott Dyson but it was ruled forward. The next one was good however. Dyson made the initial break, Ryan Fenton, Joe Waters and Danny Ratcliffe combined and Liam Morley planted the ball down under pressure.

Both sides were now tiring and the clinching try came inside the final 10 minutes when another high kick was knocked back into the path of Danny Gee, who touched down to seal the cup win.


Thornhill Trojans: James Craven, Jack Gledhill, Ryan Fenton, George Woodcock, Joss Ratcliffe Liam Morley, Danny Ratcliffe, Tom Gledhill, Luke Carter, Anthony Harris, George Stott, Wayne Wilson, Luke Haigh. Subs: Scott Dyson, Joe Waters, Liam Green, Jonathan Hellings.

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