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Trojans and Milford earn credit for battling out draw

Joss Ratcliffe bagged a brace of tries to help Thornhill Trojans secure an 18-18 draw against Milford Marlins in National Coonference League Division One on a bitterly cold afternoon in Overthorpe Park. Picture: Paul Butterield
Joss Ratcliffe bagged a brace of tries to help Thornhill Trojans secure an 18-18 draw against Milford Marlins in National Coonference League Division One on a bitterly cold afternoon in Overthorpe Park. Picture: Paul Butterield

Thornhill Trojans played their first home game of the summer season when Milford Marlins were the visitors in some of the most extreme weather conditions witnessed in Overthorpe Park for many years.

It was a clear but bitterly cold afternoon at kick-off but the temperature plummeted and the second half witnessed a blizzard which made spectating almost impossible.

But credit to both teams and to the match officials for battling through the conditions and registering an 18-18 draw in National Conference League Division One.

The small gathering of spectators that braved the conditions, witnessed Thornhill out score their visitors four tries to three but the Trojans inability to convert their tries once again proved costly.

There were a number of enthusiastic performances on the Thornhill team, as Sam Ratcliffe showed some nice touches with the ball, Will Gledhill was as creative as ever, while man-of-the-match went to Ben Kendall for his terrific runs in play.

Thornhill opened the scoring after just a minute when a pass out to the wing from Gledhill found Joss Ratcliffe, who collected the ball cleanly and plunged over for an unconverted try in the corner.

This early score caught Milford out but they quickly set about battling their way into the game.

A good interchange of passes took Milford close and Josh Cawood then raced onto a ball and beat a defender to score a try. Martin Loveridge converted.

Milford maintained the pressure and collected the ball from the restart and pressed for the Thornhill try line.

A kick along the ground into the in goal area wasn’t dealt with by Thornhill and James Barker pounced to score.

The deficit was soon narrowed when Liam Morley broke and stepped over for a try to the side of the posts. George Woodcock converted.

Kendall then made a fantastic run and sent out a pass to winger Sam Ratcliffe, who went over for an unconverted try in the corner.

Moments before half-time Milford attempted to find touch with a kick.

The touch judge signalled that the ball had found touch but it wasn’t clear cut. The Thornhill players protested and Woodcock was sin binned.

The second half got underway and Milford restored their lead when Josh Cawood ran off a pass and scored to the side of the posts. Loveridge converted.

The weather then took a turn for the worse as the icy cold wind swirled around Overthorpe Park bringing hail and snow with it.

Visibility then became difficult but play continued. Those spectators that stayed put through the conditions were rewarded with Thornhill scoring the best try of the game.

George Stott broke away and found Gledhill, who sent out a pass to his left which found Joss Ratcliffe and he dived over for an unconverted try to level the scores.

The anticipated drop goal never materialised and eventually the referee blew for full time to allow everyone to go get warm.