THORNHILL Trojans made it through to the semi-finals of the BARLA National Cup for the fourth time in the club’s history after a hard-fought 34-26 win over Upton on Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans were without Liam Morley who was absent with injured ribs. Scott Dyson replaced Morley at stand-off and picked up the man of the match award in an impressive display.
The hosts started the game the strongest as they racked up 16 unanswered points in as many minutes. Joss Ratcliffe was over the whitewash with only a minute played as the ball was moved swiftly along the line.
George Woodcock added Thornhill’s second score of the game as he was put over by James Craven and Woodcock converted his own try.
The Trojans continued to assert their dominance as Dyson broke clear and planted the ball down at the side of the posts.
Upton started to find a way back into the game as the ball was chipped forward and bounced kindly for Jack Swain who gathered to score and then added his second moments later after a surging run through the Thornhill defence.
Visiting hooker Liam Harnell then forced his way over the line from close range on the stroke of half time. The conversion was wide leaving Thornhill with a two-point lead at the break.
James Craven went close at the beginning of the second half but was held up just short. From the resulting play the ball Jake Wilson charged through a gap to extend Thornhill’s lead.
From the restart Will Gledhill went on a superb solo run, gliding through the Upton players to score the Trojans’ fifth try of the afternoon.
Brendan Roostan kept Upton in touch when he forced his way over from close range after back to back penalties had allowed the visitors to gain a foothold.
But Gledhill eased Thornhill nerves as he ran onto a pass from Luke Haigh and proved too strong for the Upton defence as he put the ball down over the line for his second.
Ratcliffe was left disappointed moments later as he ran the length of the field to score but was called back – the referee had signalled for a forward pass in the build up.
When play restarted tempers boiled over and Upton’s Jimmy Mercer immediately nipped over for a try. The resulting conversion meant that only six points separated the teams.
With a minute left on the clock Thornhill were awarded a penalty which they opted to kick at goal. Woodcock added the two points to secure the win for the Trojans.
A trip to Fryston Warriors awaits Thornhill in the semi-final which is due to take place on April 29.
• Dewsbury Moor are out of the National Cup after a narrow defeat to National Conference Division One side Hunslet Club Parkside.
Moor were edged out 16-14 on Saturday afternoon.
The Maroons are back in league action tomorrow with a visit to Barrow Raiders, kick off 2:30pm.