Trojans maintain promotion hopes after hard fought win

Luke Haigh stretched over to score during Thornhills hard fought win at Millom, which maintains their promotion hopes in National Conference League Division Two.
Luke Haigh stretched over to score during Thornhills hard fought win at Millom, which maintains their promotion hopes in National Conference League Division Two.

Thornhill Trojans made hard work of their long trip to Millom and were relieved to return with two points in their fight for promotion from National Conference Division Two after a 24-18 victory.

The win leaves Thornhill second in the table, just a point behind leaders Oulton Raiders.

The Trojans made hard work of this game and a very sluggish first half showing meant that the full time result went down to the wire and it made difficult viewing for Thornhill’s large travelling support.

The Trojans seemed to be going through the motions for long periods with no-one seemingly able to take a lead.

There were few players who did their reputation much good on this trip including man-of-the-match Liam Morley, Will Poching and the strong running Lee Smith.

From the kick off Thornhill immediately took play to the Millom try line and Will Gledhill timed his run to perfection to run off a pass from Danny Ratcliffe and cross for an unconverted try.

This strong opening proved to be a poor indicator of how the rest of the game would unfold.

A missed tackle close to the Trojans try line proved that Thornhill were vulnerable as a gap opened and Joe Wright powered over for a try which Lee Posslethwaite converted.

Thornhill weathered a further spell of Millom pressure before a good passing move saw the ball travel at speed along the attacking line.

A brilliant pass from Andrew Lambert picked out winger Ryan Fenton, who dived over for a try in the corner. Danny Ratcliffe kicked an almighty goal from out on the touch line.

Again Thornhill showed their vulnerability with some poor defending close to their own line.

Dave Kelly took the ball forward and skipped around a wrong footed defender to score by the posts for a try which Posslethwaite converted.

This score saw Millom lead 12-10 at the interval and cause some frank discussions between the Thornhill players and coaching staff during the break.

From the restart Luke Haigh made a dart for the try line and reached out to plant the ball down for a much needed score. Much to his embarrassment Danny Ratcliffe fluffed the kick from in front of the posts.

Thornhill were then handed an extra man advantage when Niall Harris was sin-binned for speaking out of turn.

Thornhill made Millom pay as George Stott and Will Gledhill made good yards before Tom Gledhill charged over for a try which Woodcock converted.

The game then suddenly turned ugly when a melee erupted and players rushed in to settle their differences, which resulted in Ethan Kelly being shown a red card for punching.

Thornhill again made Millom pay as Morley charged for the line and reached out for an unconverted try.

Stott looked to have scored but the referee waved the try away for a forward pass.

Millom scored a late try through Dom O’Brien, which Posslethwate converted, but Thornhill hung on and were relieved at full-time.