Thornensians win Yorkshire Silver Trophy
Thornensians upset the odds to lift the Yorkshire Silver Trophy when beating Pontefract 21-17 in a pulsating final at Hull Ionians.
Producing one of their best performances under coach John Pearce, they avenged two league defeats against the newly-crowned Yorkshire Two champions.
Pontefract dominated the first half hour but all they had to show for their efforts was an early converted try and a 25th minute penalty due mainly to some dogged defending by the Doncaster side – centre Dean Roberts saving a certain try.
Although his pack had given a good account of themselves, Pearce sent on big No 8 Ryan Pilley and robust hooker Scott Berry and both made immediate impacts and Thorne finished the half on top.
When Pontefract had a player sin-binned on 35 minutes Thornensians took their chance and Pilley picked up the ball from the back of a five-metre scrum and dived over for a try converted by fly-half Tom Holt.
Pontefract’s indiscipline led to them having a man sent off just before the break.
Thorne, who paid the price for a poor start to the season when finishing second bottom despite some impressive results in the second half of the campaign, failed to capitalise on their two-man advantage – though there were chances at both ends in the third quarter.
But they got their noses in front on 61 minutes with a repeat of his first try by Pilley. Holt’s conversion made it 14-10.
Pontefract regained the lead five minutes from time while Thorne’s Rob Raper was in the sin-bin.
But Thorne were not done and wing Luke Mardsen put them ahead again with a 78th minute converted try from a pin-point kick by Holt.
Pontefract finished strongly and went close on several occasions but Thorne held out to claim a famous win.