A try in the final moments of from Underbank’s Matthew Gruber ended Thornhill Trojans hopes of pulling off a vital victory in the National Conference Premier Division.
The Trojans produced a superb second half fight back to lead 26-24 and looked set to celebrate a crucial win but the late try was a real body blow and with two games remaining their hopes of avoiding relegation have become even slimmer.
It was a real end to end game with tempers boiling over on more than one occasion.
The tone was set after only four minutes when Underbank’s Jasper McGuire was sin-binned for dumping but despite being a man down the visitors opened up a healthy lead.
Danny Hirst raced between the posts for a try and Richard Pogson converted and added a penalty goal.
Poor defending from Thornhill then allowed Will Broadbent-Allen to step out of a tackle to stride away for a try which Pogson converted.
Trailing 14-0 Thornhill began to show some spirit when Declan Tomlinson ran hard to score a great solo try. Joel Gibson converted.
On the stroke of half-time a fight broke out in back play but play continued and Underbank’s Tom England squeezed over for a try in the corner which Pogson converted.
George Woodcock was sent to the sin bin and tempers were still simmering as the second half got underway.
Another altercation resulted in Tomlinson and Underbank’s Andy Boothroyd sin binned.
Jake Wilson made a fantastic break which Jamie Searby backed up and powered over for a try which Gibson converted only for an unconverted try from Gruber, to again peg Thornhill back.
Thornhill responded as Jack Gledhill went over for a try in the corner before Liam Morley also crossed wide out and two terrific Casey Johnson conversions levelled the scores.
Thornhill were off target with a drop goal attempt from man of the match George Woodcock however the remarkable comeback looked to have been completed when Casey Johnson kicked a long range penalty goal.
But Underbank shattered Thornhill with a late score. A crossfield kick to the corner wasn’t dealt with and Gruber read the situation perfectly to pounce for a try in the corner.
Pogson converted and Thornhill were left to reflect on what might have been.
Thornhill Trojans A team will travel to Normanton in the Yorkshire Men’s League Alliance Division top-four play-off final on Saturday following a 9-6 semi-final win over Featherstone Lions.
The Trojans trailed 4-0 at half-time as the visitors kicked two goals through Sam Wilson but fought their way back.
MoM Brad Llewellyn ran the second half, with youngster Kurt Hodgson scoring a superb long range fry.
Two goals and a drop goal from Sam Ratcliffe secured the Trojans victory.