A whirlwind start to this game by Thornhill Trojans was enough to ensure victory in the despite a valiant battle from Oldham St.Annes. The visitors battled to the end as they were fighting for their Premier Division survival.
With the game no more than seventeen minutes old the Trojans had amassed a commanding 20-0 lead with a shell shocked Oldham St.Annes team looking as though they were in the process of being on the wrong end of a Cricket score line. However, a marvellous fight back lead by the inspirational loose forward Chris Worth ensured that Thornhill needed a drop goal and a late try just to make victory certain.
The amazing start to this game by Thornhill came right from the kick off. On their first attack, with play on the last tackle Scott Dyson put a kick to the right hand corner. The ball came down and Scott Redgwick hacked it forward. Redwick chased his own kick and pounced to score a try which Craig Holmes converted.
Oldham St.Annes kicked off to restart the game. Lee Schofield ran the ball in and then on the second tackle the ball was worked out to winger Chris Walker. Walker broke clear to cover half the length of the field. As the defence moved in Walker switched the ball inside to the supporting Liam Morley. Morley took the pass and went over for the second try of the game. Craig Holmes converted.
Thornhill continued to pressurise the Oldham St.Annes defence and the ball was worked along the attacking line. Eventually it reached Jason Firth who sold a wonderful dummy to blow the defence wide open. Firth went over for an unconverted try.
The next try of the game was also scored by Thornhill and this came straight from a penalty situation. From the penalty man of the match Craig Holmes broke away and put Ben Hardacre over for another unconverted try.
But just as Thornhill looked to be cruising to victory Oldham St.Annes suddenly found their feet and made an almighty come back.
This started when an off load in a tackle found Dane English who showed great strength to hold off three defenders and go over for a try. Kiel Lancashire converted.
One of the key moments in the game was when Oldham St.Annes had prop Andrew Sands sin binned for persistent high tackles. At this point St.Annes could have quite easily caved in. From the penalty Craig Holmes kicked a goal and then St.Annes showed great resolve to hold out until they were once again restored to thirteen players. This resolve prevented Thornhill taking a hold of the game and putting the result beyond doubt.
Once restored to thirteen players, and right on the stroke of half time, Grant Bithell ran from close range to beat his tacklers and go over for a try. Kiel Lancashire converted.
Thornhill made an excellent start to the second half when Scott Dyson put Scott Woodcock away on a run. Woodcock in turn passed to Craig Holmes who then sent Scott Redgwick over for an unconverted try in the corner.
Two tries from Chris Worth saw Oldham St.Annes really start to close in on Thornhill. Worth's first try saw him charge through the Thornhill defence and go over for an unconverted try in the corner. The second try was created by a Grant Bithell pass which spilt Thornhill wide open. Worth took the pass, went through the gap and over for a try. Kiel Lancashire converted to reduce Thornhill's lead to only six points.
By now Thornhill were starting to feel uneasy about the way St.Annes refused to lie down. It took a brilliant drop goal from George Mack to steady Thornhill. After this drop goal tempers boiled over and Oldham's Andrew Sands punched Anthony Broadhead . As Broadhead lay flat on the floor the referee waved the red card in the air and Sands was dismissed from the field. Thornhill's Danny Lee was shown a yellow card for running in and trying to take matters into his own hands. With only five minutes left to play this ended Lee's involvement in the game.
The last score went Thornhill's way when Liam Morley produced a piece of showman ship by passing the ball through his legs and out to winger Chris Walker. Walker took the pass and dived over in the corner for an unconverted try to relegate St.Annes to Division One.