Thornhill Trojans produced another battling performance but were left frustrated to finish on the wrong end of a 20-18 defeat away to Underbank Rangers in the National Conference Premier Division last Saturday.
The Trojans played with confidence and at times produced some scintillating attacking play but three disallowed tries proved to be their undoing and at full-time they had nothing to show for their efforts.
Joel Gibson had a terrific game at full-back, running his lines well and making good ground.
Danny Ratcliffe made some telling breaks, while Trojans man-of-the-match Jake Wilson ran the ball with style.
How the Trojans will miss him over the next two games as he sits out a ban handed to him by the NCL Disciplinary Committee following his recent red card against Lock Lane.
After initially testing the Underbank defence on one side of the field with runs from Nick Mitchell and George Woodcock the ball was switched and worked to Will Gledhill who cleverly slipped a pass out to winger Jack Gledhill and he collected the ball and went dashing over for a try. Gibson converted.
But Underbank quickly cancelled this out with a score of their own. The hosts pressed Thornhill’s try line and Tom Stringer sold a dummy, a gap opened up in the defence and the loose forward nipped over for a short range try. Richard Pogson converted.
Despite conceding this soft try Thornhill still impressed with some enterprising play.
Danny Ratcliffe broke and passed inside to the supporting Gibson and he took the ball to race over between the posts for a try which he converted.
Thornhill continued to torment the Underbank defence and Gibson looked to have scored his second try when he was clear through but the Thornhill celebrations were suddenly thwarted when the touch judge intervened and the try was waved away.
This decision seemed to unsettle Thornhill and the Underbank team took advantage and broke from half way with a passing move which tore the Trojans defence to bits and ended with Richard Pogson scoring a try which he converted.
A penalty goal from Pogson following a stand off between the two teams gave Underbank a narrow lead and then right on half-time Thornhill were left frustrated when they had another try disallowed.
This time Will Gledhill kicked the ball along the ground into the in goal area. Jack Gledhill pounced to ground it for the try but once again a touch judge intervened to prevent the referee awarding it.
Underbank could sense Thornhill’s frustrations and capitalised on this early in the second half when Matt Grumber ploughed over to score.
Thornhill players protested that Grumber had lost the ball but the referee awarded the try and Pogson converted.
Thornhill looked to have got some reward for their efforts when George Woodcock finished off a fine move by going over for a try but much to their frustration the touch judge again intervened and prevented the referee from awarding the score.
Thornhill continued to work hard and good drives from Zach Johnson and Jake Wilson took them forward.
Danny Ratcliffe kicked to the in goal area, Gibson pounced and this time the try was awarded with Gibson converting.
Eventually the full time whistle sounded to bring Thornhill’s efforts to an end and left them wondering when their luck will begin to change?