Yorkshire Cup final match report: Thornhill Trojans 6 Hunslet Old Boys 32

Hunslet Old Boys celebrate at the final whistle.
Hunslet Old Boys celebrate at the final whistle.
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A DOMINANT team performance earned Hunslet Old Boys their second Hamuel Reichenbacher Yorkshire Cup final triumph in three seasons.

Thornhill Trojans were again the victims, surrendering meekly in what was expected to be a tight contest at Featherstone’s Big Fellas Stadium.

Old Boys’ mighty defence snuffed out Trojans’attacking threat and the Leeds outfit took their chances in clinical style, the final score of 32-6 being a fair reflection.

Jubilant Old Boys coach Paul McShane – the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats hooker – hailed his side’s “best performance of the year”.

He said: “We stuck to what we wanted to do and what we’ve trained on. We had that hunger and our defence was outstanding. I couldn’t fault anyone in the team.”

Playing uphill, Trojans ended the first half only 10-0 down, but their hopes of a fightback lasted just 30 seconds into the second period, until Jerome Malcolm finished superbly from Mark Holmes’ break. Rocky Price’s conversion made it 16-0 and put Old Boys in total command.

The Leeds side added three more tries with Ricky Hazelwood, Malcolm again and Craig Miles all crossing, while prop Jamie Fields added two more goals to his first-half conversion.

Miles had a fine game and his deserved try came after a ball steal by the gigantic Fields, who was a deserved man of the match.

It could have been worse for Dewsbury outfit Thornhill, but Holmes and Price both had touchdowns disallowed late on.

Trojans threatened only twice in the whole game. On 73 minutes Joel Gibson touched down from Danny Ratcliffe’s kick, but was ruled to have been offside.

Then in the final seconds winger Adam Bird crossed from Joss Ratcliffe’s pass and Andrew Bates landed a touchline conversion.

Hunslet were rewarded for an adventurous approach in the first half when referee Liam Staveley penalised Thornhill for offside from a drop out, Old Boys tapped the penalty in front of the posts and Fields crashed over from Andy Hullock’s pass.

Holmes had a fine game and his break led to a second try, scored by Kieran Murphy.

“Gutted” Trojans boss James Ratcliffe admitted: “We’ve saved our worst performance for three seasons for a showcase occasion.

“We’ve let ourselves and our fans down. We lost two players in the first few minutes and injuries played a bit of a part, but the best side won.”

Meanwhile, the under-18 Yorkshire Cup final – between Leeds side Stanningley and West Hull – was abandoned with eight minutes left following a series of brawls which spilled into the crowd.

Stanningley were trailing 22-4 at the time, having taken an early lead through an Ian Crow touchdown and the trophy was presented to West Hull.

Hunslet Old Boys: O’Mally, Malcolm, K Murphy, Campbell, Harrison, Hullock, Price, Briggs, J Murphy, Fields, Holmes, Hazelwood, Miles. Subs (all used): Bradley, Boot, McDermott, Saunders.

Thornhill Trojans: S Ratcliffe, Joss Ratcliffe, Morley, Bostock, Bird, Gibson, D Ratcliffe, Wilson, Lowther, Harris, Kelly, Jake Ratcliffe, Haigh. Subs (all used): Bates, Briggs, Folan, Walker.

Referee: Liam Staveley.

Bradford Bulls-bound Hunslet captain, George Flanagan.

Hunslet: Flanagan’s return to hometown club Bradford just ‘too good an opportunity to turn down’