Johnson treble leads Trojans to fine victory

Jake Wilson scored two tries in an impressive display as Thornhill Trojans overcame promotion rivals Stanningley last Friday.
Jake Wilson scored two tries in an impressive display as Thornhill Trojans overcame promotion rivals Stanningley last Friday.

Thornhill Trojans consolidated their place in the National Conference Division Three promotion places with a 36-4 victory over top-two rivals Stanningley last Friday.

A superb hat-trick from winger Adam Johnson proved crucial as the Trojans pulled clear.

The late withdrawal of Ben Kendall forced Thornhill to reshuffle and Lee Smith move up from the substitutes bench to the starting line-up and Arron Allerton taking his place on the bench.

Jake Wilson was in outstanding form, scoring two tries and creating several chances for winger Johnson.

Quick thinking from man-of-the-match Joel Gibson created the first try.

Stanningley had been pressing the Thornhill try line and looked to have scored but the ball went dead.

Gibson responded swiftly and raced forward to take a quick tap. The ball was passed to Liam Morley, who found Johnson and he romped over half the length of the field and score. Gibson converted.

Thornhill were buoyed by this early score and continued to play on the front foot.

A good attack saw them move close to the line, where Morley flipped the ball backwards to Danny Ratcliffe, who in turn gave it to Jake Wilson.

The gap in the Stanningley defence appeared and Wilson stepped through to score with Gibson converting.

Good handling saw Thornhill create the third try when the ball was flung at speed for Gibson to side step his way over for a try, which he goaled to put them 18-0 ahead at half-time.

Thornhill again moved the ball wide at speed to stretch the Stanningley defence for winger Mindaugas Bendikas to cross for an unconverted try in the corner.

Stanningley replied with their only try as a chip forward was pounced on by Sam Savage.

As the game moved into its final 10 minutes, Thornhill killed of any credible hopes of a late come back from the visitors.

A fantastic pass from Gibson picked out Jake Wilson and he reached to plant the ball down for a try. Gibson converted.

Johnson then wrapped up the game by completing his hat-trick.

The winger broke clear 20 metres from the Thornhill line to score a spectacular long range unconverted try and in the final minute, he skipped round his opposite number to sprint clear and plant the ball down for another unconverted try.

This was a victory to savour for Thornhill over a very well drilled Stanningley team as the Trojans moved five points clear of their promotion rivals and stay two behind leaders Hunslet Parkside.