Thornhill denied dramatic win as last gasp drop goal hits cross bar

Dabnny Ratcliffe was among the Trojans try scorers as they drew with Skirlaugh.
Dabnny Ratcliffe was among the Trojans try scorers as they drew with Skirlaugh.

Thornhill Trojans were denied a dramatic victory over Skirlaugh in National Conference Division One last Saturday as Danny Ratcliffe’s drop goal attempt in the final seconds rebounded off the crossbar.

The Trojans trailed 26-4 in the second half and seemed to be looking a certain defeat in the face.

However, five quick fire tries suddenly brought Thornhill back from the dead and almost pull off an unlikely victory.

Once again poor goal kicking cost the Trojans badly as they outscored their opponents six tries to five, while they were also left to reflect on some inept defending in the first half during which they seemed to direct Skirlaugh over their own try line.

Skirlaugh tested Thornhill from the off and kept them pinned on their own try line.

The visitors were awarded a penalty right on the try line and the ball was worked wide for Carl Puckering to score an unconverted try.

Some poor defending from the Trojans saw Skirlaugh score their second try as Mike Johnson raced over for an unconverted try in the corner.

Johnson then scored his second try as the Trojans defence became over stretched and Puckering converted.

Thornhill heads were beginning to drop and frustration began to creep into play.

George Stott appeared to be punched off the ball and following a skirmish, Stott and Skirlaugh’s Dave Wilson were sent off.

This seemed to momentarily knock Skirlaugh out of their stride and Thornhill finally got onto the score board as good handling saw the ball travel along the attacking line and the final pass from Will Gledhill put Joss Ratcliffe over for an unconverted try in the corner.

This score was swiftly cancelled out as a quick interchange of passes close to the Trojans line allowed Declan Reece score the try close to the posts.

Puckering converted as Skirlaugh lead 20-4 at the interval.

Skirlaugh added injury to insult when Reece Dean intercepted a pass, raced away and took the ball between the posts. Puckering converted as Skirlaugh lead 26-4 before Thornhill fought back.

From the restart Skirlaugh lost possession. Danny Ratcliffe picked up the loose ball and raced over for a try between the posts. Sam Ratcliffe converted.

Sam Ratcliffe then made a break down the wing before man-of-the-match Jake Ratcliffe broke clear and raced away for an unconverted try.

A penalty goal from Puckering proved to be the visitors last points as the Trojans looked to salvage something from this game.

As the clock moved towards full-time Will Geldhill forced his way over from close range for an unconverted try.

A break from Liam Morley then took the Trojans forward again. Jordan Lowther then bamboozled the defence to score a glorious try but Sam Ratcliffe skewed the conversion attempt across the face of the posts.

Danny Ratcliffe then seized upon a knock on from Skirlaugh and went over in the corner to level the score with two minutes remaining.

In the final seconds Danny Ratcliffe attempted a drop goal which rebounded off the crossbar and the Trojans settled for a draw.