Trojans boost confidence with victory over Cougars

Jake Wilson crossed for two tries as Thornhill Trojans overcame Keighley Cougars 40-20 in a warm-up to their National Conference campaign.
Jake Wilson crossed for two tries as Thornhill Trojans overcame Keighley Cougars 40-20 in a warm-up to their National Conference campaign.

Thornhill Trojans pulled off a confidence boosting 40-20 win over professional opposition Keighley Cougars in a warm up game at Overthorpe Park.

After a keenly contested first half the Trojans turned on the style to pull clear after the break, when they prevented Keighley from scoring.

The Trojans were led admirable by experienced half backs Danny Ratcliffe and Liam Morley.

Both players bossed the game with Danny Ratcliffe picking up the man-of-the- match award.

There was also stand-out performance from two-try Jake Wilson, while Josh Clough impressed at loose forward.

A decent crowd turned up despite strong winds swirling around and constant rain and witnessed a fine showing from Thornhill.

It took only two minutes for Thornhill to crack the Keighley defence. The ball was worked along the attacking line with some good handling before Danny Ratcliffe sold a wonderful dummy to open up the defence and cross between the posts. Sam Ratcliffe converted.

Keighley replied with a fantastic try through full-back Josh Hunt, who collected the ball inside his own half and sprinted away to score. Danny Lawton converted.

Anthony Harris surged from close range and used his strength to reach forward and plant the ball down. Sam Ratcliffe converted.

Keighley then worked the ball out wide for Danny Lawson to score an unconverted try.

Thornhill showed they could also play good rugby and the ball was worked along the line and Luke Haigh nipped over for a try from close range. Sam Ratcliffe’s conversion attempt was thwarted by the strong wind and the ball fell short of the posts.

Two tries in the run up to half-time gave Keighley an interval lead. The first came when the ball was whipped out to winger Carl MGuigan with a wonderful pass to create an overlap for the try.

McGuigan scored his second try right on half-time as he broke from Thornhill’s half and shrugged off a defender to touch down.

Lawton converted to give the Cougars a 20-16 interval lead.

Joss Ratcliffe opened the second-half scoring when the ball was kicked to the wing and he collected to race over for a try, which Andrew Bates converted brilliantly from the touchline.

The defining stage of the game came with a brace of tries from Jake Wilson either side of the hour mark.

The first try came from a high kick in front of the posts that bounced perfectly for Wilson to collect and go over for a try. Bates converted.

Wilson’s second try came after a good interchange of passes from Ryan Fenton.

The final inside pass from Fenton put Wilson over for a try, which Bates converted.

The final try of the game came from substitute Joe Waters, who ran onto the ball from close range to force his way over between the posts. Bates converted and it was the jubilant Trojans team who celebrated victory.

This was a perfect run out for the Trojans as they prepare for the new National Conference League season.