Heavy Woollen cup kings Thornhill triumph once more
Thornhill Trojans survived a late comeback to hold off Dewsbury Moor and seal a 30-26 win tolift the Heavy Woollen Jim Brown Cup for a fourth successive season.
It has been a quite remarkable run by the Trojans, who have contested the last six finals, and having lost the first two to Dewsbury Celtic, they have now won four in a row.
Half-back Danny Ratcliffe was once again the Trojans star as he produced a magnificent display and was involved in four of Thornhill’s five tries.
However, underdogs Dewsbury Moor deserve huge credit for playing their part in a full blooded contest watched by a crowd of around 800 at Tetley’s Stadium, proving once more that amateur rugby league in Dewsbury is thriving.
The decision to play both Heavy Woollen amateur finals on the Thursday before Wembley Weekend is a brilliant concept and the large crowd were treated to an excellent game.
The early stages were a little tasty as tempers threatened to boil over on more than one occasion and referee Michael Mannifield had a job to keep a lid on things.
A brawl erupted on the stand side touchline after just three minutes, which resulted in opposing wingers Jack Gledhill (Trojans) and Jermain Davis (Moor) being sent to the sin-bin.
Thornhill struck first with an 11th minute try as Danny Ratcliffe fed James Craven with a lovely inside pass and he offloaded to Anthony Haris.
The ball went to ground but in the scramble in goal, Ratcliffe pounced to touch down and the try was awarded, converted by Joel Gibson.
Will Gledhill looked to have grabbed a second try soon after but was pulled back for a double movement.
Moor then suffered a double injury blow as Cammy Bruce was helped from the field with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder before Brad Adams was also forced out of the action.
Danny Ratcliffe’s lovely inside pass sent Craven through a gap and he raced over for the Trojans second try which Gibson improved.
Moor looked to respond and substitute Ash Boddy drove for the line but was held up between the posts.
Further pressure saw Moor take play close to the line and James Delaney burrowed under a pile of bodies to score but Jordan Foster’s conversion attempt drifted wide.
Thornhill grabbed a third try when Martyn Holland nipped over from acting half back to step between the posts and give Gibson a simple conversion.
Moor hit back again before half-time as substitute Alex Hollingworth broke through but was upended by an illegal tackle from Gibson, which saw the full-back yellow carded.
Moor took immediate advantage as they moved play right for Dom Horn to score in the corner.
Foster was unable to convert but Moor had hope, trailing 18-8 at half-time.
Thornhill dominated the early stages of the second half.
Danny Ratcliffe’s huge up and under was spilled by Moor full-back Foster and the scrum half picked up the loose ball to dance behind the posts for his second try which George Woodcock converted.
A sweeping move left looked to have brought another Trojans try but Will Gledhill was penalised for a double movement as he attempted to stretch over.
Moor again hit back when they moved play to the short side and George Croisdale put Davis in at the left corner. Horn took over the kicking duties and landed a towering touchline goal.
Thornhill looked to have landed a decisive blow with a 66th minute try as Danny Ratcliffe’s brilliant long pass sent Nick Mitchell racing through and he stepped past the last defender on his way to the line, with Gibson converting.
Moor refused to give in and produced a dramatic fight back in the final 10 minutes.
They moved play left on the back of a penalty and Croisdale forced his way over and got the ball down despite a cluster of defenders.
Horn landed another terrific goal from wide out to give Moor hope.
Croisdale produced a terrific jinking run but although he was held, James Samme received the ball on the last tackle and barged his way over to score, with Horn’s conversion reducing the deficit to four points.
Thornhill pinned Moor back on their own line from the kick off.
Moor tried valiantly to keep the ball alive on the last tackle but when a pass went to ground, the full-time whistle sounded and Thornhill celebrated another cup triumph.
Dewsbury Moor: Foster; Davis, Croisdale, Horn, Boardman; Adamson, Delaney; C Bruce, A Bruce, Samme, Adams, Robinson, O’Brian. Subs: Hollingworth, Boddy, Maun, Ayers.
Tries: Delaney (28), Horn (38), Davis (56), Croisdale (71), Samme (77).
Goals: Foster (0/2), Horn (3/3).
Thornhill Trojans: Gibson; J Gledhill, W Gledhill, Mitchell, Woodcock; Haigh, D Ratcliffe; T Gledhill, Holland, Harris, Scott, Craven, C Johnson. Subs: Searby, Smith, S Ratcliffe, Lambert.
Tries: D Ratcliffe (11, 46), Craven (20), Holland (34), Mitchell (66).
Goals: Gibson (4/4), Woodcock (1/1).
Referee: Michael Mannifield.