Complacent Thornhill see promotion hopes dented after Drighlington defeat

Trojans MoM Anthony Harris.
Trojans MoM Anthony Harris.

Thornhill Trojans made the error of underestimating a Drighlington team battling to avoid relegation from National Conference Division Two as they suffered a 22-10 defeat in Overthorpe Park last Saturday.

Drighlington worked well for this victory and made the Trojans pay for the poor attitude and indiscipline and at full time Thornhill were bitterly disappointed with the way they had applied themselves.

Thornhill man-of-the-match Anthony Harris used his experience to take them forward and steady the ship.

Scott Dyson also tried hard to create opportunities for Thornhill but too many penalties were conceded to enable the Trojans to move onto the front foot.

It was a series of penalties in favour of Drighlington that gave the visitors the opportunity to score the opening try of the game after five minutes.

With the try line within striking distance, hooker Steven McIntyre forced his way over from close range and Mike Sanderson converted.

After this initial shaky start the Trojans rallied and looked to be turning things around.

The ball was worked down the attacking line to Joss Ratcliffe and the winger forced his way over for an unconverted try in the corner.

From the restart Thornhill attacked again and the fightback seemed well and truly on when good work from Luke Carter and Harris took them forward and Tom Gledhill forced his way over. George Woodcock converted.

But Thornhill seemed to think the hard work had been done and the game had been won despite little more than 20 minutes played.

Drighlington sensed that Thornhill weren’t at the races and set about pulling off an unexpected victory.

Peter Everitt set up an attack that ended with Ash Smith going over for a try. Mark Sandrerson converted to put the visitors 12-10 ahead going into the interval.

As the second half unfolded Thornhill soon realised that Drighlington meant business.

Dyson tried to be creative but it simply wasn’t to be as Drighlington game-managed their way to victory.

Drig were awarded a penalty 10 metres out and opted to run the ball and Jake Parkinson powered over for a try. Sanderson converted.

Thornhill could no longer get a foothold in the second half and with the kicking prowess of Sanderson to utilise, Drighlington made use of penalty decisions in their favour.

Two penalty goals from Sanderson edged them towards victory as they wound the clock down to the full-time whistle and Thornhill could not believe what they had allowed to happen as they left the field disappointed.