Luke Haigh's return boosts Thornhill Trojans but team wilts against Leigh Miners

Thornhill Trojans wilted in the second half heat and ended up having to reflect on what might have been as they lost 36-16 to  Leigh Miners Rangers in the Premier Division of the National Conference League.

By Tony Harber
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 10:12 am

In the first half the Trojans stood toe to toe with their hosts and gave their travelling supporters plenty to be hopeful about.

Joel Gibson was in outstanding form as was man of the match Casey Johnson who worked tirelessly in the middle of the field.

Thornhill lacked a few regular faces for this trip, but did welcome Luke Haigh back into the team and saw Jacob Holmes receive a call-up after impressing in the A team.

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Thornhill Trojans faded in the second half as they lost to Leigh Miners Rangers.

There was an early setback for the visitors when a missed tackle created space outside. Liam Kenyon made a charge for the line and despite a valiant attempt by Liam Morley to stop him, the try was scored. Sam Pilkington kicked the goal.

Thornhill quickly recovered and Jordan Ward broke up field, but Bailey Lee could not hold the final pass. The recovery was maintained when Gibson broke clear on a run which covered half the length of the field, evading several defenders to score. George Woodcock levelled the score with the conversion.

Gibson had to leave the field with a leg injury, however. Thornhill reshuffled, but this seemed to knock them out of their stride and good handling from Leigh put Liam Kenyon over for an unconverted try in the corner to make it 10-6 at the interval.

Miners scored again early in the second half as Chris Bower powered over and Pilkington converted.

Thornhill now had Haigh in the thick of the action marshalling his teammates around the field. Gibson also bravely returned to the action despite clearly struggling with a leg injury.

When Leigh lost the ball Jordan Lowther picked it up and sent Haigh racing away for a try converted by Gibson.

But then Thornhill lost their way and the game quickly drifted away from them as the Miners twice pounced on loose balls to score through Lewis Grime and Tom Burnett.

Yet another breakaway try was scored by Leigh after a missed tackle, Andy Badrock scoring in the corner.

The Leigh full-back then showed Thornhill a clean pair of heels as he raced away up field for what looked to be a great try. Somehow the grounding of the ball was fluffled and Thornhill were left off.

The procession of tries was interrupted when Thornhill scored. Liam Morley started the move when he found Gibson who then put Jordan Ward away to twist round a defender to go over for an unconverted try.

Leigh tried to slow the game down by making the most of the restart as they may have sensed that Thornhill may have some fight left in them.

However, it was not to be and Tom Burnett danced his way through the Trojans defence to score the Miners' final try. Pilkington converted.

Thornhill Trojans' Yorkshire Men’s League Division Four team battled to a 30-30 draw against Moorends with tries by James Walshaw (two), Dylan Goodward (two) and Nathan Lowther

plus five goals kicked by Ryan Mitchell.

Man of the match was Nathan Lowther.