Promotion party begins for Trojans

Thornhill's Joel Gibson scored a try and kicked a goal but was substituted following a head high tackle.
Thornhill's Joel Gibson scored a try and kicked a goal but was substituted following a head high tackle.

Thornhill Trojans cracked open the champagne after clinching promotion to National Conference League Division Two last Saturday.

way before overcoming Crosfields 22-18 to kick-start the celebrations with two games remaining.

There were many stoppages in play due to injuries and when tempers boiled over and it took two second half tries from winger Mindaugas Bendikas to settle the physical encounter.

The Trojans trailed for 73 minutes and it was an 80 metre long range effort from Bendikas which finally gave the Trojans the lead and see them secure this key victory.

Man-of-the-match Liam Morley tried valiantly to keep Thornhill ticking over in the absence of suspended captain Danny Ratcliffe.

Joel Gibson also played bravely despite being substituted to receive medical treatment following an unsavoury tackle.

Crosfield scored first when Nathan Taylor played on despite a disturbance in back play.

As Taylor planted the ball down between the posts, other players rushed in to try to resolve an incident. Once the officials had restored order, the try was awarded and Jack Reid kicked the goal.

Thornhill eventually hit back when Ben Kendall and Luke Haigh made ground and Gibson stepped over for an unconverted try.

The good work was quickly undone when sloppy defending allowed Reid to run between two defenders to score a try which he converted.

Morley collected a pass and showed good strength to force his way over the try line despite several tacklers hanging onto him. Gibson converted.

Crosfields increased their interval lead as Reid ducked away on the first tackle to score and convert.

A high tackle left Gibson poleaxed and the referee sin-binned Ian Bowden.

The extra man advantage was the opportunity Thornhill needed as Morley ‘s long pass put Bendikas over for a much needed try. Morley converted.

With seven minutes remaining, Gibson broke away from Thornhill’s try line and passed to Bendikas and the winger sprinted 80 metres to score a try which gave Thornhill the lead for the first time. Morley converted.

Tempers boiled over again late on as Ben Kendall and Crosfields’ Joe Moore were sent to the sin bin but the Trojans had done enough to secure victory and with it promotion.