Amateur RL: Ten-year rebuilding programme culminates in National Cup final for Thornhill Trojans

James Craven
James Craven
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DEWSBURY COMMUNITY club Thornhill Trojans have gone full circle by reaching amateur rugby league’s National Cup final for the first time.

Trojans will face Myton Warriors, of Hull, at Featherstone Rovers’ Big Fellas Stadium tomorrow (2pm), a decade after their previous appearance in a major showpiece almost led to the club’s collapse.

Trojans’ defeat by Oulton Raiders in the 2006 National Conference Grand Final was marred by crowd trouble which resulted in a fine and a four-point deduction the following season.

That began a sharp decline, culminating in Trojans resigning from the Conference and joining Pennine League Division Three in 2010, when they were reduced to just one open-age side and two juniors teams.

The club have since rebuilt, reaching the Yorkshire Cup final twice, returning to the Conference and securing promotion to Division Two at the first attempt last year.

Trojans also now run an ‘A’ team, women’s team and junior sides from under-sevens to under-13s.

Thornhill are third in Conference Division Two and have been boosted by the return of full-back James Craven from Batley Bulldogs and ex-Dewsbury Rams, Hunslet Hawks and Keighley Cougars hooker Luke Haigh’s comeback from long-term injury.

The Dewsbury outfit beat Morley Borough, West Bowling, Egremont and East Hull to reach the final, but will start as underdogs against Myton, who are third in Conference Division One following last week’s 26-6 win at Oulton Raiders.

Meanwhile, four under-18s players impressed as East Leeds secured a second-round trip to Hunslet Warriors in the National Conference Trophy.

Conal Barningham scored a try and Tom Holmes, Ryan Wooffitt and Zak Lillywhite also featured in Easts’ 30-8 round one win at Woolston Rovers.

Kyle Quinlan crossed twice and Dec Tomlinson, Mark Greenwood and Johnny Carter also touched down. Tomlinson kicked two goals and Nathan Conroy added one, after Easts had trailed 8-0.

There are no Conference fixtures involving Leeds sides tomorrow.