Thornhill Trojans pulled off a sensational 42-10 victory over Premier Division Rochdale Mayfield to progress into the semi-finals of the Conference Challenge Trophy.
The Trojans went into the game lacking several key players and had to call on the services of a number of senior men to make up the numbers, including Scott Dyson, who was making his first start for almost six years.
However his performance suggested otherwise, as he proved to be a class act throughout and collected the man of the match award.
Anthony Broadhead wound back the years as he prized open the Rochdale defence with some fantastic passes.
This action packed game saw Thornhill strike first with a try in the game’s opening minute. A high bomb on the last tackle from Dyson came down and was knocked on by a Mayfield player. Ryan Fenton, chasing the kick, pounced on the error to score a try. Sam Ratcliffe converted.
There was an immediate reply from Rochdale and from the restart the visitors caught Thornhill off-guard.
Sam Butterworth ran through to score a try between the posts which was converted by Lewis Sheridan
The game then exploded with a melee on 14 minutes, as tempers boiled over, which resulted in Mayfield hooker Todd O’Brien being sent to the sin bin.
Thornhill were awarded the penalty 20 metres from the Mayfield line and made use of the opportunity. The ball was flung down the line to winger Ratcliffe who sped into the corner for an unconverted try.
Liam Whalley then squeezed through a gap in the Trojans’ defence to score and level the scores 10-10.
This spurred on the Trojans and when a wonderfully-weighted pass from Liam Morley found Adam Johnson it allowed the big winger to break through and cover half the length of the field to score a converted try.
On the stroke of half time Sam Ratcliffe kicked a penalty goal with Thornhill in front 18-10.
Three minutes into the second half Thornhill’s rout was underway.
Dyson took possession of the ball in a one-on-one situation. The ball was then sent to Broadhead, who found Ratcliffe. The winger then set off and raced away to get his second of the afternoon.
A pass from Dyson then opened up the Mayfield defence to put Fenton over for his second.
Morley then got in on the action, and scored a great solo try to extend his side’s lead.
Thornhill came close to scoring again as hooker Luke Haigh dived over the line, but it was deemed a double movement.
However this did not halt the pressure from the Trojans and an offload from Broadhead proved to be crucial in creating space to put full-back Mason Bailey over.
The final score of the game underlined Thornhill’s second-half dominance as Fenton broke clear with Scott Green up in support of the break to take the final pass.
Green wrong-footed the Mayfield full back to score a try which Ratcliffe converted to seal Thornhill’s place in the semi finals, where they will take on another Premier Division side in the shape of Leigh Miner Rangers on August 8 at Twist Lane, Leigh.