Thornhill Trojans continued their impressive form of late with this fine victory over newly promoted West Bowling. The Bradford side arrived in Overthorpe Park full of confidence on the back of a fine victory the previous week over pace setters Wigan St Pats. However, the visitors made too many errors in key field positions for which the Trojans punished them dearly.
Leading the charge for Thornhill in this gripping encounter was man of the match Rob Carruthers who was an absolute work horse on defence. He also made the crucial hard yards taking the ball forward and showed a fine pair of hinds to create a try for Liam Brooke.
Other standout players in the game for Thornhill were Liam Morley and Scott Dyson. Dyson was brought into this game as a half time substitute and pinned West Bowling back with a terrific kicking performance.
Rob Copley was another player who shone. After West Bowling had taken an early lead with an unconverted try in the corner by Ricky Helliwell Thornhill hit back with Copley crossing the try line. The opening was created by scrum half Liam Brooke whose pass found Rob Copley ten meters from the try line. Copley stepped his way through the defence to cross for the try. Craig Holmes converted.
When West Bowling were penalised for a high tackle Craig Holmes kicked a penalty goal.
A feature of this game was the number of calls for “back to one” which the referee made. Thornhill used these decisions to good effect to keep West Bowling under pressure.
It was from one such call for back to one, right on the stroke of half time, that Johnny Campbell made good ground down the touch line. The ball was then worked in field towards the posts. With play close to the try line Matthew Roberts picked up the ball and showed great strength to scoot over from acting half and score a try. Craig Holmes converted.
The second half introduction of Scott Dyson gave Thornhill more attacking direction and his towering kicks brought a new dimension to the game. As play worked towards the West Bowling try line Richard Pachniuk triggered an attacking move with a fine burst. A pass from Pachniuk found the supporting Rob Carruthers who with a wonderful off load put Liam Brooke over for a try. Craig Holmes converted.
But Thornhill weren't having things all their own way and this score was soon cancelled out by West Bowling. Strong drives took the visitors towards the Thornhill try line. With the line within striking distance, one final burst ensured substitute Daniel Ramsden ploughed over for a score which Steve Illingworth converted. A further West Bowling try was thwarted by a brilliant last ditch tackle by Jason Firth.
It was a fantastic kick from Scott Dyson which put the game beyond doubt. Dyson made a searching 40:20 touch line kick. From just short of 20 meters out the scrum head and ball went to Thornhill. Straight from the scrum down a run around saw the ball end with winger Johnny Campbell. With an acrobatic dive Campbell literally was airborne as he went over the line came down in the in goal area to score a try. Craig Holmes converted to secure a satisfying victory for the Trojans.
Report by Andrew Byram
Thornhill Trojans 26
(Maroon & White)
Craig Holmes 5 Goals
Johnny Campbell 1 Try
Rob Copley 1 Try
Liam Brooke 1 Try
Matthew Roberts 1 Try
West Bowling 10
(Green, Red trim & White `V')
Daniel Ramsden 1 Try
Referee – Mick Reid (Halifax)
Man of the match – Rob Carruthers (Trojans) Gavin Buckley (West Bowling)