Thornhill Trojans had to dig deep before securing their place in the Heavy Woollen ARL Jim Brown Cup final thanks to a 26-12 midweek win over Dewsbury Moor.
The tie proved to be a welcome relief for the Trojans who are fighting against relegation in the National Conference Premier Division and was a repeat of last year’s final.
With a number of players suspended and cup tied, the Trojans gave another start to youngster Lewis Farren and called Anthony Broadhead back from retirement, while there were also debuts for Antony Slater and Ross Roebuck.
Stand off Danny Ratcliffe rightly took the man-of-the -match award and was involved in most of Thornhill’s attacking moves and was the difference between the two teams.
Thornhill were also served well by Zach Johnson and Jake Wilson, the latter taking over the kicking duties in the absence of both regular goal kickers due to suspension.
Jack Gledhill scored the first points of the game when he charged over for a try in the corner and Wilson kicked a brilliant touch line conversion.
A long pass out to the centres then picked out Will Gledhill. He took the ball, beat his marker and went over for the second try for a 10-0 lead.
Thornhill continued to hold the upper hand in the opening exchanges and Zach Johnson went on a powerful drive towards the posts, held off his defenders and sent out a pass to the supporting Scott Green, who raced over for a try which Wilson converted.
Dewsbury Moor began to make an impression on the game and it was only a superb final tackle from Liam Morley which prevented a try.
But just before half-time tempers boiled over following an altercation between Tom Gledhill and Anthony Boardman.
With the two players settling their differences on the floor, players rushed in to try and restore some order.
The referee sin-binned Tom Gledhill and Boardman, while red cards were also shown to Jack Gledhill and Jemaine Davies for their part in the dispute.
Wilson kicked a penalty and the Trojans led 18-0 at half-time.
Dewsbury Moor raised their game, there was a shift in the balance of play as the second half got underway.
The ball was worked along the attacking line to winger George Hirst, who went over for a try in the corner for the visitors. Aiden Ineson converted.
Moor continued to test Thornhill and the ball was once again moved out to the wing.
Thomas Harrington took the ball and despite the attention of a number of Thornhill defenders, powered over for try. The cheers went up from the large contingent of Moor supporters and Ineson kicked the goal.
With their hold on the game now reduced to six points, Thornhill had the final say and gave their own supporters something to cheer about.
A high kick on the last tackle was judged perfectly by Will Gledhill, who went over for an unconverted try.
Thornhill then secured their place in another Heavy Woollen final when Roebuck dived over for an unconverted try.