Thornhill Trojans suffered stage fright as they were beaten 32-4 by Hunslet Old Boys in Saturday’s Yorkshire Cup Final.
It was a great achievement for Thornhill to reach the final but a day which promised so much ended with a performance the club will want to learn and move on from.
The Trojans never really made any impression on the game and this was the third time Thornhill have been left with the runners-up label in the Yorkshire Cup.
The build up to the final looked good for Thornhill and despite one or two injury doubts and the suspension of Ben Kendall, the Trojans were in a confident mood.
However, after only five minutes captain Jake Wilson had to be helped from the field nursing a knee injury.
From then on the writing was on the wall as the big, strong Hunslet Old Boys team took control and wore their opponents down.
Substitute forward James Folan had an outstanding game, as did man of the match Anthony Harris, but despite this endeavour Thornhill never clicked as a team and appeared flat throughout.
Hunslet’s Jamie Fields broke the deadlock when he barged over from close range and converted his own try.
The Old Boys extended their lead with a breakaway try. Good handling saw the ball travel along the attacking line until it ended with Ryan Campbell crossing for an unconverted try.
At 10-0 Thornhill were still in with a chance but the killer blow came straight after the restart when winger Danny Harrison broke down the touch line, swatted off a tackler and charged over for a try which Rocky Price converted.
The flow of play was interrupted with stoppages as players began to pick up injuries.
It was after one such stoppage that Hunslet broke clear to add another try to their tally, Ricky Hazelwood providing the support to finish the move and Jamie Fields adding the extras.
Another stoppage in play caught Thornhill cold and the ball was worked out to the wing.
Danny Harrison took the final pass and making use of an overlap, raced away to score his second try of the game.
As the game entered its final 10 minutes of play, Thornhill looked for a consolation score.
Danny Ratcliffe kicked forward between the posts and Joel Gibson pounced on the ball but after consulting his touch judge the referee ruled that Gibson was offside at the kick and the try was disallowed.
Hunslet Old Boys responded with a barrage of attacks.
Scrum half Price unpicked Thornhill with a wonderful dummy but the referee pulled the would-be try-scorer back for a forward pass.
A further Old Boys try was disallowed by the referee before substitute Craig Miles ducked under a tackler to race over for a try which Fields converted.
In the last minute Adam Bird squeezed over in the corner for a try to prevent Thornhill ending scoreless in the final.
Andrew Bates converted but it was the Old Boys who celebrated lifting the trophy for a second time in three years.
There is still plenty left to play for this season but Trojans must regroup quickly to maintain their Pennine League Premier title charge.
The Trojans currently lie fourth in the table but have only played five league games due to their cup exploits.
Thornhill return to action on Saturday when they entertain Moorends Thorne Marauders in the Pennine President’s Cup (kick off 2pm).