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Thornhill tie-up leaves Salford City Roosters hanging over dropzone

Salford City Roosters fell into the NCL Division Two relegation zone for the first time this season after a draw against BARLA National Cup winners Thornhill Trojans.

It was at least a much more solid performance from a much changed Salford side: Steve Barry, Marc Jones, Martin Judge and Danny Trimble were all away on a bachelor weekend from the 15 that went to Cumbria the previous week and in came student scrum-half Sam Seddon for his club debut.

Also on board were Mike Foster, returning from long term injury, Jake Lynch, Marc Gilligan and veteran John McAtee.

The side was made up to 17 players when Mark Salisbury, who arrived late to watch, put on a shirt for his first game of the season.

For the 18-18 scoreline Salford scored four tries to two and have the boot of Bradley White to thank for a share of the points.

The visiting side started much brighter than the Roosters and Salford looked like they may be on the end of a good hiding when they watched Thornhill score twice in the opening 11 minutes.

Luke Haigh spun out of a tackle to score after just two minutes and then a Roosters knock-on was picked up by Scott Dyson who sent Joss Ratcliffe over in the corner to put the Dewsbury side 0-8 up. Roosters managed to stop the rot and both defences held firm until Roosters got on the scoreboard after half an hour.

White surged through a gap in the defence from 25 metres out and round the posts to leave himself an easy conversion to take Salford into the break 6-8 down. and that is how the scorestayed into half time.

Thornhill started on the front foot and were only denied when Tom Pratt tackled Joss Ratcliffe into touch as he crossed the line, but then Roosters got a much-needed stroke of luck at the other end.

A huge attacking kick by Adam Taher was spilled by full back George Woodcock and Andrew Muscat had a free run to the sticks. White’s conversion gave Salford a 12-8 lead.

As time ticked away theTrojans started to take the upper hand again. They forced a drop out on 70minutes when George Kemp was tackled in goal then three minutes later moved the ball quickly along the line through Anthony Broadhead and Jake Ratcliffe for Joss Ratcliffe to score his second try in the corner.

Sam Ratcliffe tookover the kicking duties but he also missed, leaving the game all square at 12-12.

Two minutes from time Roosters were awarded a long distance penalty which White converted for 14-12 and most people round the pitch expected that to be the winner, until the referee decided he was having an incredible 11 minutes of injury time!

On 86 minutes Taher had the ball ripped from him with two players in the tackle and White converted another long distance penalty to put it at 16-12.

It looked like it was going to be another hard luck story for the home side though when a great pass from Liam Morley sent Jake Ratcliffe in for a try on 90 minutes.

This time it was much nearer the posts and Sam Ratcliffe slotted Trojans’ only goal of the day (16-18). That looked like being a match winner but Roosters retained the ball from the restart and when Thornhill were penalised again for ripping, White coolly booted the equalizing penalty to end the game 18-18.

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