Thornhill Trojans 12
Egremont Rangers 18
THORNHILL Trojans pushed their National Conference League opposition all the way in this keenly contested National Cup first round tie at Overthorpe Park.
The Trojans produced arguably their best performance of the season and the players can be proud of their efforts and only a late try from Egremont’s outstanding stand-off Paul Corkhill settled matters.
Thornhill’s man-of-the-match was youngster Andrew Bates as the stand-off continually broke the Egremont defence and used his turn of pace to devastating effect.
There was also an excellent performance from forward Tom Holdsworth and player coach Wayne Loney, who pinned Egremont back with some fine long kicks.
Egremont came at Thornhill, playing the game at a high tempo, and scored an early try from Corkhill. Matt Bewsher converted.
Thornhill steadied and put together some dangerous attacking play with Bates ducking away from a tackle to cross for a try. Mark Hodgson converted.
This try gave Thornhill a real boost and Simon Walker made a terrific break up field and fed Loney, who did well to hold the pass and continue the move.
Liam Morley sold a gem of a dummy to break away. The ball was passed to Walker who again made good ground before the ball was worked along the line and Anthony Broadhead sent out a pass to put Holdsworth diving over for a try. Hodgson converted and Thornhill were good value for their interval lead.
However, a high bomb in front of the posts caught out full-back Hodsgon, who allowed the ball to bounce and it went into the in goal area, where Alastair Leak was on hand to pounce on the ball between the posts. Bewsher converted to level the score.
Thornhill suffered another set back when Broadhead was shown the yellow card for a technical offence but the 12 men continued to battle and keep Egremont at bay.
Attention began to focus on the possibility of extra time but Thornhill’s Simon Nelson was penalised for kicking out and the visitors were on the front foot.
Brewsher attempted a 75th minute penalty but the ball dropped short of the posts.
Then with three minutes left Corkhill sprinted away on an angled run to go over for a try and shatter Thornhill’s dream of a cup upset. Brewsher converted and Egremont were through to the next round.