Thornhill Trojans maintained their winning run in National Conference Division Three, overcoming Wibsey Warriors 40-22 last Saturday.
The game proved to be a much needed wake-up call for the Trojans ahead of this week’s Conference Cup showdown with Hunslet Warriors.
A hat-trick of tries from full-back Joel Gibson proved to be the difference against a Wibsey team who could consider themselves unlucky to have lost.
Man of the match went to loose forward Luke Haigh, who had a hand in creating Thornhill’s tries and scored one himself.
Danny Ratcliffe was another who stood out and it was his short pass which picked out Gibson, who raced through a gap and away for the opening try.
Wibsey pressed forward and sustained pressure led to Chris Vogel ploughing over to score. Lewis Barrett converted.
A long kick down field was collected by Adam Johnson, who set off on a run from inside Wibsey’s half before sending Liam Morley sprinting clear for a try which Sam Ratcliffe converted.
Again the visitors replied with a well worked try. The ball went along the attacking line and found winger Chris Rodger to score at the corner for. Barrett converted.
Haigh broke from 30 meters out to score and Sam Ratcliffe converted but Wibsey swiftly cancelled out this score when Jimmy Rodger broke clear down the wing to score a brilliant long range try.
Barrett converted to put the visitors 18-16 ahead at half-time.
After half-time words had been exchanged Thornhill came out for the second period looking to make amends for the sloppy first half.
Straight from the restart Gibson broke down the middle and covered half the length of the field to score his second try, which Sam Ratcliffe converted.
A fantastic pass from Haigh picked out Scott Green, who sprinted clear and over for a try which Sam Ratcliffe converted.
But then Thornhill were caught out from a scrum as Nick Walker broke down the wing and reached out to plant the ball over the try line for an unconverted score.
The teams were then locked in a tussle until the closing 10 minutes.
It was only in the final phase of the game that Thornhill were able to pull clear of Wibsey and add a margin of safety to the victory.
Thornhill were awarded a penalty for a high tackle in front of the posts and Gibson kicked the goal before completing his hat-trick when he ran off a pass from Danny Ratcliffe and go over half the length of the field for the try and also landed the conversion.
In the final minute, Jake Wilson managed to wriggle over from close range following a Trojans penalty.
Far from impressive but Thornhill continued their winning run, which keeps then second in the table, four points behind leaders Hunslet Parkside Club with a game in hand.
Thornhill’s next league game is the eagerly anticipated derby clash against Dewsbury Moor Maroons on Saturday June 13.