Thornhill denied as Oulton drop goal snatches victory

A last minute drop goal in from Oulton's Andy Williamson saw the visitors complete a National Conference League Division One double over Thornhill as they won 17-16.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 5:22 pm
Declan Tomlinson produced a man-of-the-match performance for Thornhill Trojans but was unable to prevent them slipping to a 17-16 defeat against Oulton Raiders last Saturday. Picture: Paul Butterfield

The single pointer was a real blow for the Trojans as it saw them suffer their only home defeat in the league all season and meant they were presented with the Division One champions trophy on the back of a loss.

The Trojans went into the game with the title already wrapped up but although they had several players missing, it was a game which they should have won.

Man-of-the-match Declan Tomlinson caught the eye with some strong running and there was also a good showing from winger George Woodcock but the Trojans never really made up for a lacklustre first half during which they had two players sin binned.

The Trojans cause was also made that bit harder in the second half when young full-back Brad Llewellyn was sent off for allegedly punching.

Thornhill made a poor start when the ball was knocked on from the kick off and Oulton ran with pace for Dom Flanaghan to charge over for a try which Kieron Walpole converted.

Thornhill tried desperately to recover but indiscipline cost as Anthony Harris was first sent to the sin bin for back chat.

Thornhill were then frustrated when Danny Ratcliffe had a try disallowed as the referee consulted his touch judge, who had spotted a knock on in the build up.

Frustrated by this decision Thornhill had Martyn Holland sent to the sin bin for dissent.

Eventually the run of play began to shift in Thornhill direction when they were awarded a penalty following a high tackle.

The ball was worked at speed along the attacking line out to Woodcock, who collected and dived over in the corner.

No sooner had Thornhill began to make an impression than they conceded a soft try as Brad Cahill shrugged off a tackle and drifted round another to go over for a try. Walpole converted.

Thornhill came out looking to make amends and immediately put Oulton on the back foot.

Woodcock broke clear and raced away for his second try of the game and Casey Johnson kicked a brilliant goal from the touchline.

The Trojans continued to pressure Oulton and Holland nipped over for a try between the posts which Casey Johnson converted to put them ahead.

Tempers suddenly spilled over and after order was responded Llewellyn was shown the red card along with Oulton’s Danny Stanley.

Thornhill were left bemused as Stanley was on the side lines at the time of the incident so Oulton were allowed to continue with 13 players.

Thornhill battled valiantly despite been a player down but Oulton’s pressure paid off and five minutes from time Chris Hope finished off some good handling to score an unconverted score.

As the clock moved towards full-time and the game all square, a decisive drop goal from Andy Williamson sent Thornhill to a rare defeat in Overthorpe Park.