Thornhill Trojans fade after battling first half display against leaders West Hull

A trip to East Yorkshire to take on table topping West Hull was always going to be a tall order for Thornhill Trojans in their quest to avoid relegation.

By Tony Harber
Monday, 4th July 2022, 7:15 pm
Updated Monday, 4th July 2022, 7:17 pm

So it proved as they were beaten 50-12, although the result did not tell the full story of the National Conference Premier Division game.

A battling first half performance gave Trojans' hardy band of travelling supporters something to take heart from. However, once Thornhill's now customary second half fade set in, the inevitable lopsided score line materialised.

But at full time the margin of defeat was nowhere near as severe as many pre-game predictions.

Casey Johnson was man of the match for Thornhill Trojans in their game against NCL Premier Division leaders West Hull.

Thornhill included veteran Anthony Broadhead among their substitutes, once again forced out of "retirement" to help make up the numbers. There was also a return to the first team for Joss Ratcliffe who last experienced Premier Division rugby 14 years ago.

Stand-out player was Casey Johnson, whose work rate taking the ball forward in thankless conditions was admirable and he was the official man of the match for the Trojans.

Thornhill battled well in the opening 40 minutes, but two early scores from West Hull was not the best of starts.

In the opening minute Jack Ridsdill found space to break away and go over for an unconverted try.

Good passing along the attacking line created another gap in the Thornhill defence. This time Jack Lazenby went over for a try which Ryan Wilson converted.

From the restart Hull dropped the ball and Thornhill pressed forward from the scrum. With the try line within striking distance Matthew Tebb burrowed over for a score which Johnson converted.

A chip over from Matt Kingdom caught Thornhill out and he chased after the kick forward, managing to ground the ball to score a try. Ryan Wilson converted.

Thornhill replied with a kick through of their own. It was Casey Johnson who sent the ball into the in-goal area and George Woodcock seized the opportunity to ground the ball and score the try. Johnson converted.

With the score now within four points Thornhill were unexpectedly in the game.

But this new found optimism was shortlived as Ridsdill and Nathan Powley scored tries for Hull in the lead into half-time. Wilson converted both to give them a 28-12 interval lead.

The second half was one-way traffic as Thornhill's dwindling fitness took its toll.

An offload in a tackle found Ryan Steen close to the try line. Steen handed off to put a Thornhill defender on his backside before going over for a try. Wilson converted.

A run from Elliot Jones saw him weave over half the length of the field on a run. Jones scored a try and Wilson converted.

The ball was then flung out to winger Ridsdill who shrugged off a Thornhill tackler to go over for his third try of the game. The goal was missed but Tom Burke scored the final try of the game which Wilson converted. This score took the title contenders to 50 points before the referee blew for full time a couple of minutes early.

Thornhill Trojans: 1 Brad Llewellyn 2 Connor Hickling 3 George Woodcock 16 Jake Hickling 20 Joss Ratcliffe 6 Jordan Ward 7 Ryan Mitchell 13 Sam Ratcliffe 9 Matthew Tebb 10 Anthony Harris 11 Luke Carter 12 James Flanagan 8 Casey Johnson. Subs: 14 Anthony Broadhead (not used) 15 Jake Garvey 4 Nathan Lowther 17 James McHendry.