A fantastic day of girls rugby was on show at Batley Bulldogs last Saturday, with the Heavy Woollen District ARL staging a triple header of junior finals.
The fixture had been rearranged from earlier in the season when Thornhill players had been allowed a week off for compassionate leave and the Mayfield club had dedicated the game to the memory of Martyn Holland.
Thornhill made the trip with many regulars missing but this presented the opportunity to give debuts to two 16 year olds – Rye Ward and Ewan McDonald — for their first taste of senior rugby.
In trying circumstances it was good to see experienced players make their presence felt. Casey Johnson was man-of- the-match and there was a fantastic performance from Tom Gledhill.
Good passing allowed Liam Whalley to go over for the first try from short range before Wayne English sold a dummy and a gap opened up for him to go over for a try. Zac Hartley added both conversions and the Trojans were 12 points down after just five minutes.
The Trojans hit back as the ball was worked along the line and Gledhill romped over for a try. Casey Johnson converted.
Hopes of a Thornhill fight back soon faded when Mayfield again cut loose with Lewis Butterworth scoring twice in quick succession and Hartley added both goals.
A Rochdale player somehow off loaded the ball on the floor. Iuean Higgs collected and sprinted away for a long range try.
Thornhill rallied in the run up to half-time as Gledhill made a good break but Declan Tomlinson couldn’t hold the final pass but he did barge over from close range for an unconverted try soon after the re-start.
But from that point it was all one way traffic as Mayfield began to rack up the points.
Declan Sheridan broke from acting half and sprinted away to score a try which Hartley converted before a kick through then caught Thornhill out and John Foy went over and Cole Connolly converted.
Thornhill’s defence then stood back and gave Butterworth too much space as he went between the posts to complete his hat-trick.
Tempers then boiled over and Thornhill’s Zach Johnson a red card.
Johnson clearly hadn’t made too many friends in Rochdale that afternoon and word were exchanged with spectators as he made his way from the playing field.
Andy Taylor went over for a try, despite Thornhill claims of a forward pass in the build up, and the final try came when John Foy collected the ball to score the try. English converted and Thornhill will now look to regroup and prepare for life in Division One.