Thornhill Trojans came within a whisker of pulling off another giant killing act in the Coral Challenge Cup last Saturday when Doncaster grabbed a dramatic last minute try to snatch a 24-20 victory at Tetley’s Stadium.
Thornhill were leading 20-18 late in the game when Watson Boas scored a break away try to shatter the Trojans dreams.
Thornhill couldn’t have given more in what was a near perfect performance as they out powered, outplayed and out enthused their professional opponents.
Casey Johnson was named as official man of the match but there were also fantastic showings from Tom Gledhill, George Stott and Will Gledhill.
Youngster Declan Kaye came of age with a solid performance on the wing and Liam Morley looked composed as he directed traffic in a fantastic team effort.
Thornhill opened the scoring after only three minutes when the Doncaster defence was sucked into the middle of the field and they created an overlap for Kaye to race over for a try. Johnson converted.
This early score was soon cancelled out by Doncaster when a kick forward was followed up by Aaron Ollett and none of the Thornhill defenders could prevent him from scoring. Jack Logan converted.
But then Thornhill began to dominate proceedings once again and took delight in forcing the Doncaster players to knock on.
There was a high challenge on George Woodcock which left the full-back laid on the floor.
Thornhill were awarded the penalty and chose to run. The try line came within reach and George Stott showed immense strength to twist his way over the and ground the ball.
This score again lifted Thornhill and gave them further self belief and Johnson converted.
Doncaster then had Ross Peltier sent to the sin bin for dissent and they were then put on a team warning for persistent holding down.
Johnson kicked the penalty goal to see the Trojans lead 14-6 at the interval.
Doncaster tried to up the intensity and a quick play the ball was capitalised on by Kieran Cross when he nipped over for a try which Logan converted.
Doncaster’s resurgence was led by the dominant Ross Peltier and it was his strong run and off load which created the next try when Sam Docherty took the ball and found space to go over in the corner.
Logan converted and Doncaster led for the first time.
But far from folding Thornhill recovered to score the try of the game.
Mathew Tebb took play close to the Doncaster try line and the ball was worked to the right. Harry Woollard drove forward and sent out a superb pass which picked out Nick Mitchell, who surged over for a try.
Johnson kicked a fantastic goal from the touchline and Thornhill were buzzing with their eye on glory.
As the clock ticked toward full time Thornhill began to sense a famous victory but the key moment came when they lost the ball with a minute left.
Doncaster quickly formed the scrum just inside their own half of the field.
Boas stepped and sprinted clear for a long range score to shatter Thornhill. Logan converted and the professional team had got out of jail.
This was a cruel finish to the game for Thornhill but a performance the players can be proud of.