Thornhill Trojans ended their seven-match losing run in the National Conference Premier Division with a much needed 32-20 victory over Leigh Miners Rangers last Saturday.
With the season now at the half way stage the Trojans are looking for a change of fortunes to secure their top flight survival and this win could be the sign of better things to come.
Thornhill’s first three tries came in the opening 10 minutes and their last three came in the final five minutes but in between these two purple patches the Trojans made hard work of victory.
With the return of a number of regulars to the line up the Trojans attacked with purpose.
Man-of-the-match Zach Johnson ran the show, taking Thornhill forward and was supported by Joel Gibson, Luke Haigh and Danny Ratcliffe as they showed more of the form their supporters are used to.
Thornhill scored inside the first minute when Zach Johnson broke through and picked out Casey Johnson, who off loaded the ball to put Declan Tomlinson over for an unconverted try in the corner.
Thornhill maintained the pressure and Matthew Tebb put Joel Gibson on a run and over for a try which he converted.
The whirlwind start was maintained and Will Gledhill sent Jack Gledhill over in the corner for their third try. Gibson kicked a brilliant goal from the touchline as the Trojans led 16-0 after only 10 minutes.
Leigh Miners suddenly began to fight their way back. Stand off Callum Coleman managed to keep the ball alive the in middle with some clever handling.
The ball was quickly worked through several pairs of hands and winger Andrew Hudson took the ball and went over for a try in the corner. The goal was missed.
Second rower Louie Brogan scored a brace of tries in the build up to half-time to bring Miners right back into the game.
Brogan collected a Thornhill kick deep in Leigh’s half of the field and set off on a run, racing 80 metres to score a spectacular long range try. Jonny Youds converted.
Leigh continued to pressurise Thornhill and a failed attempt at an interception resulted in a back to one decision.
Leigh ran the ball to the corner and Brogan went over for an unconverted try in the corner which cut Thornhill’s half-time lead to two points.
Thornhill’s great start looked to have been for nothing when Leigh suddenly took the lead as Craig Ashall cut in field and raced over between the posts with Youds converting.
It looked as though Thornhill were heading for another narrow defeat but they found their second wind.
Zach Johnson slipped the ball out of a tackle to find Haigh and he darted over for a try which Gibson converted.
Thornhill were buzzing again and Will Gledhill charged over for an unconverted try before Danny Ratcliffe broke away on a solo run to score and Gibson converted to allow the Trojans to savour the winning feeling.
Thornhill face another key game on Saturday when they travel to bottom side Kells looking for back-to-back wins.