Trojans maintain march to promotion with Marlins win

Danny Ratcliffe scored two tries and was man-of-the-match as Thornhill Trojans claimed victory over Milford Marlins which puts them on the brink of the National Conference Division One title.
Danny Ratcliffe scored two tries and was man-of-the-match as Thornhill Trojans claimed victory over Milford Marlins which puts them on the brink of the National Conference Division One title.

Thornhill Trojans can clinch the National Conference League Division One title with victory away to Leigh Miners Rangers on Saturday.

The Trojans maintained their march towards promotion with a 28-2 victory away to Milford Marlins in front of the television cameras last week.

The game didn’t really gain any momentum until the second half as an over eager referee seemed to stifle play from both teams with a string of penalties.

Penalty goals from Joel Gibson and Milford’s Martin Loveridge were the only notable points in the opening half hour.

Thornhill had Liam Morley sin binned for talking out of turn to the referee but despite the handicap of being a player down the Trojans held firm and breathed a collective sigh of relief when a last ditch tackle from Gibson thwarted a breakaway interception from Milford.

The challenge from Gibson looked a tad on the high but the referee resisted the temptation to show a card and this then allowed Gibson to kick a penalty just before half-time.

The game was totally different in the second half as Thornhill, led by man-of-the-match Danny Ratcliffe, took control.

The opportunity Thornhill needed came when Milford had their full back Josh Sunley sin binned for a professional foul.

With Thornhill on the attack it looked as though Josh Clough had lost the ball. Milford played on but as they tried to work the ball away from their line, Danny Ratcliffe cleverly stole it in a one on one tackle before racing away to score a try which Gibson converted.

Thornhill had a try for Luke Haigh disallowed when the referee ruled a double movement.

Gibson then broke clear and chipped the ball forward for Ryan Fenton to pounce for a try which Gibson converted.

Jake Wilson then set up the next Thornhill score when he slipped the ball out of a tackle and the supporting Liam Morley raced away before sending Luke Haigh over for a try. Gibson converted.

In the final moment of the game Jake Wilson set up another attack and put Danny Ratcliffe away for his second try. Gibson converted to wrap up a great win for Thornhill away from home and set up the show down at Leigh Miners.