Thornhill Trojans produced a fantastic performance to complete the double over National Conference League Division Two table toppers Oulton Raiders last Saturday.
After a slow start the Trojans fell into their stride to clinch this superb victory and cut Oulton‘s lead at the top of the table to one point.
The Trojans conceded two early tries but the inspirational Danny Ratcliffe spurred on his team to turn the tide.
The Trojans had a hat-trick of tries from Will Gledhill to thank largely for this win but there was also an outstanding performance from man-of-the-match George Stott.
Oulton’s first try came when a Thornhill player shot out of the defensive line and missed his man, allowing Adrian Holdsworth to go over for an unconverted try in the corner.
Minutes later sustained pressure on the Thornhill line paid off for Oulton when Dom Flanagan powered over in the corner.
Thornhill were fortunate that the Oulton goal kicker wasn’t having the best of days as he missed both conversions.
Thornhill dug in and managed to take hold on the game. Danny Ratcliffe chipped the ball forward and snatched it back off an Oulton defender to go over for a try which he converted.
This good work was quickly undone when Oulton took advantage of another mistake from Thornhill as they spilled the ball directly from a scrum and Andy Williamson gathered a pas to race 20 metres for a try which Tom Egan converted.
Three tries on the bounce in the space of six minutes from Will Gledhill suddenly put Thornhill into the driving seat in what must go down as one of the fastest hat-tricks in NCL history.
Oulton lost the ball from the restart and Danny Ratcliffe took play towards the Oulton try line before James Craven’s pass allowed Gledhill to plant the ball over the try line. Danny Ratcliffe converted.
Gledhill then gathered a Liam Morley pass to power over for his second which Danny Ratcliffe converted.
The sensational spell from Gledhill continued as he gathered a pass to complete his hat-trick after Danny Ratcliffe broke clear and Ratcliffe tagged on tghe conversion on the stroke of half-time.
Oulton took advantage of a missed tackle and Flanagan went over for his second try of the game. Tom Egan converted.
Thornhill were suddenly behind again when Flanagan showed a turn of pace to race over for his hat-trick between the posts and Egan converted.
Thornhill finished strongly as Gledhill went on a searching run and sent Stott powering over.
Danny Ratcliffe sent out a pass to the wing which put Joss Ratcliffe over in the corner and Danny Ratcliffe kicked a brilliant goal from out wide.
Danny Ratcliffe was wide with a penalty attempt but made no mistake with a drop goal effectively make sure of the victory for Thornhill.
Sam Ratcliffe was sin binned in the final moments for time wasting but Thornhill held on for a win, which leaves them second in the table.