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Trojans complete derby double with heated victory over Sharks

Zach Johnson crashes over for a try during the Trojans 40-18 derby victory over Shaw Cross last Saturday.
Zach Johnson crashes over for a try during the Trojans 40-18 derby victory over Shaw Cross last Saturday.

Thornhill Trojans emerged as top dogs in a heated local derby to complete a league double with a 40-18 victory over Shaw Cross Sharks in National Conference Division One last Saturday.

Thornhill included several former Shaw Cross players in their line up, none more so than the Sharks former player-coach Zach Johnson.

As a result emotions boiled over at times until finally with seven minutes left the referee made a triple sinbinning.

Emotions aside, this was another useful win for the Trojans as they push for promotion to the Premier Division.

The Trojans welcomed back Joel Gibson to their line up and were given much needed forward power in the shape of Tom Gledhill and Lee Smith as both impressed with good in field running, with Gledhill named Trojans man-of-the-match.

The only disappointing aspect for the Trojans was the sparse crowd for the derby as Shaw Cross were unable to switch the kick off time, which meant the game clashed with England’s World Cup match.

In the opening exchanges it looked as though the Trojans were going to have it easy as Shaw Cross knocked on close to their own try line from the kick off and Will Gledhill dived over for an unconverted try.

Thornhill pressed again and a great pass from Joel Gibson put Nick Mitchell away and he in turn put George Woodcock powering over for a try out wide. Gibson converted.

Thornhill were in control at 10-0 but suddenly to flow of play was reversed by Shaw Cross.

A well weighted pass from Paul March picked out Nathan Wright on the wing and he beat a defender to go over for a try. Ryan Chalkley converted.

Shaw Cross scored again as they broke and Ash Berry was in support to take the pass and sped away to score. Chalkley converted to put the Sharks 12-10 ahead.

Thornhill began to reshuffle by bringing on their substitutes and Zach Johnson made an immediate impact by making a powerful drive for the posts to score with Gibson converting.

This try was swiftly followed by a brilliant effort from George Stott, who set off on a run and sold a dummy to beat the Shaw Cross last line of defence to sprint over for a try which Gibson converted.

There was a slight distraction in the scoring of this try as there was a heated confrontation between Paul March and Zach Johnson in back play before order was restored.

James Craven set off on a wonderful run to take Thornhill forward and the move was completed when Casey Johnson sold a dummy to go between the posts. Gibson converted and the Trojans led 28-12 at half-time.

The second half was at times played much less intense conditions as players wilted in the heat.

A try from Thornhill winger George Woodcock effectively ended any hopes Shaw Cross had of a come back. Gibson kicked a brilliant touchline goal.

Thornhill turned the screw further when Tom Gledhill slipped the ball out of the tackle and found Martyn Holland, who sprinted away for a try which Gibson converted.

Tempers boiled over with Zach Johnson and Paul March again the centre of a melee and both were sin-binned along with Thornhill winger Jack Gledhill.

When play re-started Shaw Cross managed a late consolation try from Dec Naughton which Chalkley converted.

Victory sees the Trojans two points clear of Leigh Miners Rangers at the top, while the Sharks have slipped back to the bottom level on six points with Dudley Hill and Oulton.