Trojans produce stunning fight back to secure dramatic victory

Joss Ratcliffe dives in at the corner as Thornhill Trojans secured a dramatic victory over Leigh Miners Rangers which saw them move top of National Conference League Division One. Picture: Dave Jewitt.
Joss Ratcliffe dives in at the corner as Thornhill Trojans secured a dramatic victory over Leigh Miners Rangers which saw them move top of National Conference League Division One. Picture: Dave Jewitt.

Thornhill Trojans moved top of National Conference League Division One after they edged out Leigh Miners Rangers 34-30 at Overthorpe Park last Saturday.

The Trojans showed their characteristic grit and determination to snatch a memorable victory in the closing seconds to the delight of the home supporters.

The early stages were dominated by a Leigh side who pinned Thornhill in their own half for the first quarter of an hour.

The visitors notched up three tries through Joe Digby, Rob Crompton and Louis Brogan, to all of which man-of-the-match, Josh Ward, added the extras to give them an 18-0 lead with barely 10 minutes played.

After their weak defensive efforts, Thornhill settled down and the ball was worked to Josh Ratcliffe who went in at the corner for an unconverted try.

The resurgence was not to last though as Brad Hargreaves broke through several defenders to touch down for another Leigh score on the half hour and Ward again landed the conversion.

As half-time approached the ball was worked to Liam Morley who went in near the posts for a Joel Gibson converted try, which reduced the half-time arrears to 24-10.

The second half saw a more determined Thornhill emerge and home man-of-the-match, James Craven, gathered a high kick from Danny Ratcliffe, beat a defender and scored another try which Gibson improved.

Leigh looked to have sealed victory with little more than 10 minutes left as the Miners put in a high kick on the fifth tackle which Adam Thommason gathered to touch down. Ward again converted to stretch the lead to 30-16.

On the first set from the re-start, George Woodcock caught the ball from a kick on the last tackle well into his own half, made a fine run beating several defenders before passing to Danny Ratcliffe to score between the posts, Gibson added the extras.

Thornhill launched another attack and Danny Ratcliffe mesmerised the Leigh defence before touching down for a try converted by Liam Morley.

With under a minute left Liam Morley gathered a high ball and passed to Joss Ratcliffe who went in for a try in the corner to put Thornhill ahead for the first time in the game, and in a dramatic finish, George Woodcock’s touchline conversion kick hit the post and went over for a further two points which sealed victory.

The Trojans are top on points difference, with Lock Lane, Featherstone Lions and York Acorn level on eight points.

Thornhill entertain Acorn on Saturday (ko 2.30pm).