Thornhill Trojans celebrated retaining the Heavy Woollen ARL Jim Brown Cup following a 30-16 victory over Shaw Cross Sharks last Thursday.
A near 600 crowd braved the horrendous weather to witness the two Dewsbury amateur heavyweights go head to head.
It was not a classic, with the game littered by 20 penalties, but Thornhill showed superior fitness late on to add the Jim Brown Cup to the BARLA National Cup they won earlier in the season.
The early stages were littered by handling errors from both sides, not helped by several torrential downpours and it was a surprise that both turned down early chances of penalty shots at goal in favour of running the ball.
Shaw Cross struck first with a cracking 18th minute try as John Rourke, Sam Ottewell and Ryan Chalkley linked in a brilliant passing move.
Chalkley’s one handed pass fed Danny Flowers and he in turn put winger Thomas Stuckley over to complete the move.
Thornhill kicked out on the full from inside their own ‘25 and after Jake Dooner was held close, Chalkley sent substitute Luke Hudson crashing over and Flowers converted as Cross led 10-0.
Thornhill responded with a spell of pressure, forcing Shaw Cross to drop out and they hit back when a kick was allowed to bounce in-goal and Josh Clough pounced for a try which Sam Ratcliffe goaled.
Brendan French was sin-binned for Cross just before half-time but the Sharks extended their lead with a Flowers penalty early in the second half.
Thornhill responded seconds later when the kick off was allowed to bounce and Scott Lee was first to react, gathering the ball and cantering unopposed to the posts. Sam Ratcliffe’s conversion levelled matters.
Danny Ratcliffe was orchestrating Thornhill’s best moves and the Trojans took the lead when Ben Kendall received the ball, bounced off a defender and crashed over for a try, which Sam Ratcliffe converted.
Shaw Cross attempted to hit back and the impressive Chalkley was brilliantly tackled into touch.
The decisive try came eight minutes from full-time when Danny Ratcliffe’s huge up and under bounced off a Sharks defender and Thornhill quickly moved play left to send George Woodcock over wide out and Sam Ratcliffe landed a terrific conversion.
Sharks centre Tom Rodgers forced his way over wide out but Flowers’ difficult conversion drifted agonisingly wide, leaving Thornhill with an eight point lead.
The Trojans rounded off their cup triumph with the best try in the final minute.
James Craven and Mindaugas Bendikas linked in a terrific move which covered over half the length of the field.
It was a move worthy of a try until Craven was hauled down short but with the Sharks defence struggling to get back, Lee raced through a huge gap for his second try and Sam Ratcliffe capped a superb kicking display with his fifth goal.
Former Dewsbury Rams and Batley Bulldogs player Craven was adjudged man-of-the-match before joining his team on the Tetley’s Stadium pitch to kick start their celebrations.