Joel Gibson secures well deserved first victory of season for Thornhill Trojans

Thornhill Trojans finally got off the mark to register their first win of the new National Conference League season when they won 18-10 at York Acorn in the Premier Division.

By Tony Harber
Monday, 4th April 2022, 12:19 pm
Updated Monday, 4th April 2022, 12:20 pm
Joel Gibson gave a man of the match performance to help Thornhill Trojans to their first win of the season in the National Conference Premier League.
Joel Gibson gave a man of the match performance to help Thornhill Trojans to their first win of the season in the National Conference Premier League.

After four straight defeats the Trojans finally got the much needed confidence boost they have been working for with a super performance on their travels.

The Trojans battled valiantly for the 80 minutes and were worthy winners at full-time with Joel Gibson securing the victory with a well taken try in the final minute to give the travelling fans something to savour.

Thornhill experimented by playing George Woodcock at loose forward for the first time and welcomed back Jordan Ward from Ossett Trinity. There was also a debut for youngster Connor Hickling who came on as a substitute. Josh Gearey made a welcome return to the team too with a solid performance.

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After pulling off a try saving tackle in the opening exchanges, wing man Gearey opened the scoring when he caught a high kick on the last tackle, beat a defender and crossed for a try that was converted by Gibson.

Thornhill continued to dominate, but Acorn were able to take advantage of a lapse from the Trojans as they kicked on the last tackle along the ground into the in-goal area. Rye Ward misjudged his attempt to hoof the ball into safety and instead it bounced unsupervised for Ash Robson to pounce and score a try. Anthony Chilton converted to level the scores at half-time.

There was controversy early in the second half. The ball was worked out to Robson who appeared to have been bundled into the corner flag by the Thornhill defence. Trojans supporters and players were up in arms with the referee, claiming the York player was in touch. However, the official was having none of it and the try stood. The goal was missed but now Thornhill had work to do.

Ward then made amends for his earlier mishap by chasing onto a kick along the ground, outpacing the Acorn defence to dive on the ball and score a try. Gibson kicked a fantastic goal from near to the touchline and Thornhill were back in front.

This set the game up for a tense finale. With York on attack the referee pulled them back for a forward pass. The Acorn players remonstrated with the referee and a player was shown a red card for protesting too much.

With a minute left to play, the game restarted and Gibson settled matters by cutting through the Acorn defence. He glided through space and saluted as he scored a try at the side of the posts, which he converted himself.

The referee blew for full-time to allow Thornhill to celebrate their first win.

The Trojans host Egremont Rangers this Saturday.

Joel Gibson; Josh Gearey, Will Gledhill, Harry Woollard, Rye Ward; Liam Morley, Bailey Lee; Josh Riley, Jordan Lowther, Sam Ratcliffe, Jake Hickling, Jamie Searby, George Woodcock. Subs: Connor Hickling,. Liam Harley, Jordan Ward, Jonathan Hellings.

Man of the Match : Joel Gibson

Thornhill's Yorkshire Men's League team went down 56-0 to Stanningley A in Division Four as they had two players sent-off and two sin-binned.

The team was: Brad Llewellyn; Jordan Smith, Liam Ward, Harry Nichols, Taylor Potts; Ryan Mitchell, Dylan Goodward; Ewan McDonald, Lewis Farren, Dominic Cooper, Luke Palmer, Dale Brook, Nathan Lowther. Subs: Vinnie Johnson, James McHendry, Macaulay Goodward, Michael Nelson.

Man of the Match : Dominic Cooper.