Thornhill stun cup holders to book place in semi-final
Thornhill Trojans pulled off a remarkable win in Cumbria to send BARLA National Cup holders Egremont Rangers crashing out of the competition.
The Trojans overcame Conference Premier Division big guns Egremont 28-26 to book their place in the semi-finals and a trip to East Hull.
The game was a real cliff hanger and a 61st minute try from Thornhill substitute George Woodcock clinched the tie for the Trojans.
Danny Ratcliffe played a key role, scoring two tries, Andrew Bates was another stand out performer and his kicking game proved vital, while prop Anthony Harris was the Trojans man-of-the-match.
The long journey had taken its toll on Thornhill as the Cumbrians caught them cold, scoring in the first minute
Thornhill were penalised from the kick off. Egremont ran the ball and Matt Henson ploughed over from close range, with Matty Bewsher converting.
This try was immediately cancelled out as a kick on the last tackle was charged down by Danny Ratcliffe, who chased after the ball and pounced to score by the posts. Bates converted.
Thornhill grew in confidence and Sam Ratcliffe showed great determination to break clear down the wing and passed inside to the supporting Danny Ratcliffe.
The scrum-half then drew the final Egremont defender to put Mindaugas Bendikas over for a try to complete a fantastic 60 metre move. Bates converted.
Good handling from Egremont created an overlap and winger Ryan Barnes scored an unconverted try, followed soon after by another try for Matt Henson as the hosts regained the lead.
Egremont strengthened their hold on the game with a break down the wing. A lofted pass back inside found Ryan Barnes to touch down for a try which Bewsher converted.
Thornhill fought back as good handling saw Liam Morley put Danny Ratcliffe over for a try which Bates improved.
Bates then kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to level at 20-20.
Bewsher and Bates traded penalties early in the second half before Luke Carter broke for Thornhill and surged for the line.
Danny Ratcliffe continued the move, putting supporting George Woodock through a gap and over for a try. Bates kicked a brilliant goal from out wide.
Egremont pushed frantically as full time approached and Luke Charlton forced his way over for a try.
With only two points in the game the full time whistle was a welcome relief for the Trojans, who are through to the National Cup semis for only the third time.
Thornhill lost away to West Hull in 1995 and at Ideal ABI in 1998 and will be hoping their third semi-final in Hull results in victory.