Thornhill Trojans exited this season’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup despite a battling performance as they suffered a 16-0 defeat on a tough trip to Pilkington Recs.
This was very much a patched up Thornhill team due to injuries and players being unavailable.
Scott Dyson and Anthony Broadhead both came out of retirement to help out the Trojans in this cup tie, while Thornhill also gave a debut to Joshua Geary, son of former Batley Bulldogs player Paul Geary.
The Trojans made a lively opening and put the St Helens team under pressure.
Scott Green looked threatening as did Trojans man-of -the-match Tom Gledhill and there was also an enthusiastic display from Jonathan Hellings.
Despite this early promise cracks began to show once Pilkington had scored their first try.
Good defence held Pilkington short of the line but a quick play the ball ended with Mike Garrity forcing his way over and the referee indicated the game’s opening try. Dannyl Lynch converted.
This open score caused tempers to simmer and niggles crept into play.
Inevitably tempers flared and emotions boiled over and Thornhill’s Scott Green was sin-binned for a high tackle.
Play restarted but tempers once again spilled over as players rushed in and the referee sent Dyson to the sin bin for his involvement with the melee.
Calm finally returned to the game and play moved on. It was a brilliant Pilkington pass out to the wing which created the next try of the game as Jack Hodgson dived over in the corner for a try which Lynch converted.
In the run up to half-time Joss Ractliffe was sin binned for questioning a referee’s decision and the Trojans turned around at the interval 12-0 down.
As the second half got underway the Trojans soaked up a great deal of pressure but eventually they buckled and a chip forward to the corner was snapped out of the air by Kyran Knapper, who collected cleanly to score an unconverted try.
Trailing 16-0 the Trojans knew the game was potentially now beyond them.
Another flare up ended with Pilkington’s Jono Pers sin-binned but by then the game had drifted away from Thornhill.
At full-time the Trojans could reflect on a workman like performance from an understrength team and although they were out of the cup there is still a great deal left to play for.