Trojans ease into Challenge Cup third round with Knights victory
Thornhill Trojans cruised into the third round of the Coral Challenge Cup for the first time since 2007 as they earned a resounding 58-14 victory over Normanton Knights last Saturday.
However, the win was over shadowed by a serious injury to Normanton winger Charlie Barker.
On the first set Normanton kicked forward and gave chase. Barker twisted as he attempted to avoid going into touch but was laid on the touchline with a suspected broken leg.
After just over a minute of play, the game was held up for a further 50 minutes while an ambulance arrived to take Barker to hospital.
Luke Haigh was outstanding as he looked lively on attack and created several opportunities, while man of the match Casey Johnson also continually took Thornhill forward.
Liam Morley broke clear to put Matthew Tebb away and he in turn fed Haigh who finished the move with a try between the posts. Johnson converted.
Haigh then took play close and from the play the ball Tom Gledhill powered over for a which Johnson converted.
Thornhill were now on a roll and Haigh stood up in a tackle and managed to get a pass out to Will Gledhil, who went over for an unconverted try.
This was the only unsuccessful attempt all game from Johnson, who landed nine out of 10 conversions.
Normanton eventually recovered from the early injury set back and began to cause the Trojans problems.
After a stoppage in play which saw another Normanton player carried from the field, Ryan Kelsey forced his way over for a try resulting in cheers from the large contingent of travelling supporters. Jacob Crossland converted.
A chip over from Normanton then caught the Thornhill defence out and Luke Camplin completed the move with an unconverted try, which reduced the deficit to six points.
Johnson steadied Thornhill’s nerves with a try from a penalty which he improved.
George Woodcock made a raid on the line but appeared to lose the ball over the try line.
A Normanton player tried to clear play but didn’t control the ball and Declan Kaye pounced. After consulting his touch judge the referee awarded the try much to the annoyance of the Normanton supporters. Johnson converted.
Ben Carter replied with a Normanton try in the corner just before half-time but the Trojans reigned supreme after the break, scoring 34 unanswered points.
Thornhill had Sam Ratcliffe sin binned early in the second half but managed to score when Tom Gledhill sent out a pass which sent Johnson between the posts and he converted.
Thornhill also had Anthony Harris sin binned for punching before George Woodcock made a terrific break and Haigh was in support to take the pass and go over. Johnson converted.
Haigh became creator when he broke clear and sent out a pass which picked out winger Ross Roebuck to race in for the try. Johnson converted.
Kaye completed his hat-trick in the closing stages, after having two earlier scores waved away by the referee.
Kaye finally got his second as the ball was flung along the attacking line to send him over in the corner. Johnson converted.
The same move was then repeated and Kaye dived over in the corner to complete his hat-trick. Johnson converted to put the result beyond doubt and send Thornhill into the third round for the first time since they travelled to Keighley Cougars in 2007.