Thornhill battle hard but Challenge Cup exploits end

George Woodcock scored two tries in Thornhill's Challenge Cup defeat.
George Woodcock scored two tries in Thornhill's Challenge Cup defeat.

Thornhill Trojans came out second best in a pulsating Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie going down 30-20 to a very well drilled Haydock team last Saturday.

Haydock were backed by a sizable home crowd that made their presence known throughout.

The Trojans effectively lost this game in the first half as defensively they were second best as they presented Haydock with too many opportunities.

Other than one occasion when Haydock were held up over the line, the home side scored tries from every other attack.

The Trojans included Liam Green, Joss Ratcliffe, Scott Dyson and Luke Carter for the first time this season.

Carter and Dyson made good contributions but star performers for Thornhill were George Woodcock and man-of-the -match Danny Ratcliffe.

Woodcock always looked dangerous with the ball and scored two tries, while Ratcliffe led from the front and scored Thornhill’s opening try.

Haydock scored first as they broke down the touchline before a swift interchange of hands continued the move and Danny Gee took the final pass and raced over for a try which Jason Gibson converted.

Thornhill replied when Danny Ratcliffe intercepted a Haydock pass to race 30 metres for an unconverted try.

Thornhill lost the ball straight from the kick of and Haydock pressed forward and Connor Smith dashed over at the side of the posts, with Gibson converting.

The Trojans worked the ball along the attacking line at speed and Woodcock crashed over for a try which he brilliantly converted from out wide.

Good defence from Thornhill held a Haydock player up over the try line and this gave the Trojans a boost.

The ball was chipped forward and Woodcock collected and dived over for a try to momentarily silence the Haydock supporters. Woodcock converted and the Trojans led 16-12.

As Thornhill looked to be taking a hold of the game, Haydock scored three tries in the run up to half-time.

Dean Dollen collected an offload and cut inside to score between the posts and Gibson converted.

Haydock then put a high kick to the corner and Alex James read the situation perfectly to leap and gather the ball and score an unconverted try.

On the stroke of half-time Haydock were awarded a penalty and the pressure paid off as Daryl Rotherham went over for an unconverted try to give his side a 10 point interval lead.

Thornhill looked to respond after the break and were helped when Scott Johnson was sin-binned for a professional foul.

Dyson fed Jack Gledhill, who appeared to have scored in the corner but the effort was waved away as the touch judge indicated a forward pass.

Dyson then broke through before Ryan Fenton, Joe Waters and Danny Ratcliffe combined for Liam Morley to stretch over for a cracking try.

The intensity of the match began to take its toll as both sides tired and it was Haydock who grabbed the match clinching try as they put a high kick into the in goal area.

The ball was knocked back into the path of Danny Gee, who grounded the ball and put Haycock through to the next round.