Johnson bags hat-trick for impressive Trojans

Liam Morley was among Thornhill's try scorers in the comprehensive victory over Waterhead in National Conference League Division Three.
Liam Morley was among Thornhill's try scorers in the comprehensive victory over Waterhead in National Conference League Division Three.

Thornhill Trojans maintained their promotion charge in National Conference Division Three with a 56-10 victory over Waterhead last Saturday.

Thornhill winger Adam Johnson led the way with a hat-trick of tries as they swept aside a young Waterhead side.

The home team had looked at postponing the match due to an injury crisis but managed to fulfil the fixture with six Under-18s players making up their numbers.

Johnson and fellow winger Mindaugas Bendikas took advantage of the ball distribution skills of man of the match Scott Dyson to score some long range efforts. Waterhead scored a first minute try as Thornhill knocked on from the kick off and Joel Pearson benefited to cross. Alec Jobson converted.

It took nearly 20 minutes for Thornhill to have their first serious raid at the Waterhead line as Liam Morley sidestepped his way over for Thornhill’s opening score. Joel Gibson converted.

A long Dyson pass then picked out Johnson, who scored at the corner.

Ryan Fenton collected another long ball and with a swerve of the hips, he went over for an unconverted try.

Anthony Broadhead crashed over for a try at the side of the posts and Gibson converted.

Johnson scored his second try after substitute Danny Ratcliffe and Fenton linked. Gibson converted.

Just before half-time, Bendikas broke down the wing and put Mason Bailey racing away to score.

Bendikas was involved in an altercation and once order was restored, Gibson kicked the goal to give Thornhill a 32-6 lead.

Gibson collected a high kick on the last tackle to dance his way over for a try which he improved.

Chris Brown picked up the ball from acting half-back and caught Thornhill out to go over for an unconverted try but this proved Waterhead’s final offering.

Broadhead was sin-binned for retaliating to a stray elbow with a punch but Thornhill dug deep to prevent Waterhead from scoring when they were held up over the try line.

Waterhead lost the ball on the Trojans line and smart thinking from Morley saw him dash 10 meters and put Bendikas away on a long run to score. Gibson converted.

No sooner had Thornhill been restored back to 13 players than Gibson was sent to the sin bin for dissent.

In Gibson’s absence Thornhill scored another long range try as Johnson broke clear from 40 meters to score and Danny Ratcliffe converted.

The game ended with Thornhill scoring their best try of the match as Gibson sprinted clear straight after re-joining play and switched the ball inside to send Bendikas over. Gibson converted to wrap up the away victory for Thornhill.