A plucky performance from Illingworth failed to prevent Thornhill Trojans continuing their unbeaten run in Division Two this season with a 46-8 win at Mason Green..
The home side were unlucky not to go ahead early on as a Jack Bradbury kick was hacked on by Shaun Challoner, unfortunately the winger being unable to touch down before the ball crossed the dead ball line.
On four minutes Thornhill used their greater strength and speed to open the scoring when winger Adam Bird broke down the left from deep in his own half, cut inside and stepped out of full back Gareth Darby’s tackle to touch down under the posts. Craig Holmes converted to give his side a six point lead.
On twelve minutes indiscipline in the visitor’s defence gave Illingworth a penalty ten yards from the line. From the tap the ball was quickly moved out to the left allowing centre Steve Oakes to crash over wide out.
With Anthony Broadhead and Scott Green beginning to control the game it was no surprise when the Trojans exploited some indifferent tackling in the home defence to create the opportunity for prop Anthony Harris to touch down. Holmes again converted.
Challoner prevented a further score chasing back to dislodge the ball in a one on one tackle when a try looked inevitable for stand off Liam Morley.
However on the half hour Thornhill did extend their lead, this time Morley touching down following a good break down the right. Holmes conversion made it 18-4.
Illingworth hit back five minutes later when Andrew McElroy pinched the ball in a tackle twenty metres our and shifted the ball right to Darby who fed Kieran Nicholson to touch down in the corner, the visitors appeals for a knock on being waved away. Challoner’s conversion attempt was narrowly wide.
Winger Sean Radcliffe however quelled thoughts of an unlikely comeback on half time crossing for a converted try to make it 24-8 at the break.
Five minutes into the second half it was 30-8 as loose forward Jake Wilson reached out to touch down close enough for Holmes to convert again.
Scott Woodcock was next on the scoreboard when a combination of failing to clamp the ball in tackles, and good off loads created the position for the substitute to crash through the defence for a converted try.
Bird added his second on fifty-two minutes when quick hands out him away for a sixty metre sprint along the left touchline. Again he cut inside to make it a straightforward conversion for Holmes.
Illingworth’s best chance of the half came when Kieran Nicholson broke down the right, Holmes’ last ditch tackle just forcing the winger into touch.
Bird completed the scoring with ten minutes remaining for an emphatic win with his hat-trick try wide on the left, Holmes missing his first conversion attempt of the match.