Trojans celebrate promotion back to Conference Premier Division

Thornhill Trojans celebrate clinching promotion to the National Conference Premier Division following their 28-6 victory over Lock Lane in front of the television cameras last Saturday. Pictures: Paul Butterfield
Thornhill Trojans celebrate clinching promotion to the National Conference Premier Division following their 28-6 victory over Lock Lane in front of the television cameras last Saturday. Pictures: Paul Butterfield

Thornhill Trojans confirmed their promotion back to the National Conference League Premier Division with a historic 28-6 win over Lock Lane in front of the live television cameras.

For the first ever time television cameras were present in Overthorpe Park to capture the Trojans in action and this added to the occasion.

With two games remaining it will require a herculean effort from second placed Leigh Miners to overhaul Thornhill’s vastly superior points difference and prevent them being crowned champions.

This really was a match to saviour for Thornhill and the large crowd assembled to enjoy the moment.

Casey Johnson, Jake Wilson and Luke Haigh all worked well in the forwards and Danny Ratcliffe was his usual creative self at scrum-half but man-of-the- match was Joel Gibson with two tries and four goals to his name.

Thornhill didn’t have everything their own way and it was only two spells, one either side of half time, which saw the Trojans hold the upper hand.

Lock Lane started as the dominant force making the Trojans defend their own line and they scored first with Craig Savage going over for a try which Connor Turner converted.

Thornhill quickly recovered from this early set back and looked as though George Woodcock have scored but he was held up over the line.

Tempers began to simmer in this tense clash and after one flare up was calmed down and second erupted minutes later when Gibson was wrestled to the floor, players rushed in to settle their differences.

Eventually order was restored and the referee chose to sin bin Thornhill’s Jack Gledhill and Lock Lane’s Luke Tagg.

From this point Thornhill became the more dominant side and Jake Wilson ran off a pass from Danny Ratcliffe to stride away and dive over for a try. Gibson converted.

Thornhill once again attacked the Lock Lane try line and Gibson went on a stepping run to reach forward and plant the ball down over the line but his conversion attempt surprisingly bounced off one of the up rights.

Thornhill added another terrific try on the stroke of half-time .

The move was started just inside Thornhill’s half when Declan Tomlinson got a pass out to Casey Johnson and he combined with Danny Ratcliffe, who put George Woodcock away on a run before Nick Mitchell pounced to score. Gibson converted to cap a fine end to the half.

Thornhill maintained the momentum straight from the restart as quick hands saw the ball travel at speed and as a gap opened up, James Craven went over for a try which Gibson converted.

The crowning moment for Thornhill came when with, Lock Lane attacking the Trojans line, Gibson intercepted.

The sudden switch in play left Lock Lane desperately chasing Gibson’s shadow, as the full-back covered almost the full length of the field to score a try which he converted.

Jamie Searby appeared to have scored for Thornhill when he plunged over but the referee waved the score away.

It didn’t matter as Thornhill ended the game as worthy winners and at full-time the Trojans celebrated promotion back to the Premier Division.