Trojans and Rangers play out second draw

Ben Kendall capped a man-of-the-match display by scoring a try during Thornhill Trojans draw with Saddleworth Rangers on Saturday. Pic: Paul Butterfield
Ben Kendall capped a man-of-the-match display by scoring a try during Thornhill Trojans draw with Saddleworth Rangers on Saturday. Pic: Paul Butterfield
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Thornhill Trojans and Saddleworth Rangers battled out a second draw in National Conference Division Two, with last Saturday’s clash ending in a 28-28 stalemate.

Thornhill led 28-10 after 56 minutes but Saddleworth fought back with three late tries, despite being reduced to 10 men following two sin-binning and a red card.

Trojans coach James Ratcliffe made his views clear to the players at full-time as the post-mortem began.

Despite the collapse in the final quarter, the Trojans produced some very good attacking rugby.

Danny Ratcliffe was again in terrific form taking the Trojans forward, Anthony Harris also ran well, while man-of-the-match Ben Kendall, produced a superb display and scored a try.

Thornhill led after just two minutes as James Craven made a dart from 20 metres out and shrugged off a tackler to score. George Woodcock converted.

Saddleworth hit back when Gareth Morgan took a short pass to cross and Ben Whitehead converted.

Ben Kendall powered through four defenders to score before Liam Morley played on despite being caught by a high tackle and wove through the defence for a solo try, with Woodcock adding both goals.

Joss Ratcliffe had a try waved away by the referee after a touch judge entered the field having spotted some foul play, although Thornhill were then awarded the penalty.

Undeterred, Thornhill continued to press and Danny Ratcliffe collected a high kick to score an unconverted try.

Gavin Dodd replied with an unconverted try for Saddleworth before tempers boiled over as Ben Kendall had the ball ripped out in a tackle, words were exchanged and players rushed in to settle their differences.

Kendall was first to be shown the yellow card, Saddleworth’s Tom Dransfield was shown a red card and Gavin Dodd then spoke out of turn and was also sin-binned.

Play restarted with a penalty to Thornhill and Liam Morley ran direct towards the posts to score a try which Woodcock converted.

As play re-started Gareth Morgan let his feeling known to the referee. The yellow card came out and Saddleworth were now down to 10 men.

Remarkably Saddleworth’s fightback commenced at this point as Thornhill produced some woeful defending.

Tacklers dropped off Ethan Langhorn as he burrowed over and Whitehead converted.

Whitehead then became try scorer when he seemed to walk his way through the Thornhill defence.

In the final moments, Saddleworth broke up field for a long range try with Dodd’s second try of the game and Whitehead converted.

In the final seconds, Thornhill were penalised and Whitehead slotted over the goal to level the scores. The referee immediately blew for full-time and Saddleworth celebrated a fine recovery.