Disappointing Thornhill suffer heavy defeat against Dudley Hill

Joss Ratcliffe scored a try for Thornhill Trojans but was unable to prevent a heavy defeat at the hands of Bradford Dudley Hill as they slipped to fifth place in National Conference League Division Two last Saturday.
Joss Ratcliffe scored a try for Thornhill Trojans but was unable to prevent a heavy defeat at the hands of Bradford Dudley Hill as they slipped to fifth place in National Conference League Division Two last Saturday.

Thornhill Trojans depleted playing squad paid the price of playing two games in the space of a few days as they slipped to a 42-18 defeat at home to Bradford Dudley Hill in National Conference League Division Two last Saturday.

The mid-week cup tie at Mirfield clearly had an impact on the Trojans as they capitulatied.

Despite a promising opening, the Trojans were simply not good enough as a combination of indiscipline, woeful defending and some very tired bodies saw them unravelled and the majority of supporters had left well before full time.

Thornhill’s bright opening was short lived and gave little indication of how the rest of the game would pan out.

Inside the opening five minutes a high kick to the corner from Scott Dyson was collected by Joss Ratcliffe and the winger powered over for the opening try which Craig Holmes converted.

From this point the game gradually slid away from the Trojans despite the valiant efforts of Liam Morley and man-of-the-match James Craven.

The horror show began to unfold from the re-start as a high kick from scrum-half Simon Sewell allowed Andrew Walker to gather and score, with Sewell converting.

Dudley Hill continued to put Thornhill under pressure and Kyle Bateman ran onto a pass and barged between the posts. Sewell converted.

Thornhill’s cause was made more difficult when Morley was sent to the sin bin for dissent.

With the Trojans now down to 12 men Dudley Hill turned the screw and the ball was flung at speed to create an overlap for Damian Smith to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Dudley Hill attacked the same side and a high kick was put up with Smith perfectly positioned to collect and score an unconverted try.

Thornhill rallied before half-time but twice attacks broke down when the Dudley Hill defence put a Trojans player into touch.

The match clinching moment came midway through the second half as Dyson’s kick came down close to the Dudley Hill try line but Neil Wall collected the ball to thwart the Thornhill raid and with a sudden turn of pace set off on a long run.

Thornhill players tried to close him down. James Craven collided with a Dudley Hill player, prompting the visitors water carrier to intervene.

The attack carried on regardless and Wall completed his run to score and Sewell converted before the Dudley Hill water carrier was shown a red card.

The visitors extended their lead as Walker stepped through two defenders to cross for a try which Sewell converted and Dyson was sin-binned shortly after following a clash with a Dudley Hill player.

Kyle Bateman supported a Dudley Hill break to score his second try. Sewell converted.

Morley showed real fighting spirit in a lost cause when he scooted over for a try which Holmes converted.

As the players made their way back for the restart Thornhill coach James Ratcliffe questioned the referee’s application of team warnings and was shown a red card.

Any hopes of Thornhill closing Dudley Hill’s lead were scuppered when Martin Southwell was given too much space to go over for an unconverted try.

Morley forced his way over for a last minute consolation try which Holmes converted to bring an end to this sorry episode for the Trojans.

Defeat saw Thornhill slip to fifth in the table and they face a crunch game away to second placed Oulton Raiders this Saturday (kick off 2.30pm).