Knaresborough sink Thirsk to claim historic Trophy victory
Knaresborough RUFC won a cup competition for the first time in their 36-year history on Saturday, beating Thirsk in the final of the North Yorkshire Trophy.
Following a scoreless first half, tries from Seru Ravuoco and Save Tuimatanisaqa handed Kev Brooke’s team a 12-0 victory in front of a big crowd at Hay-A-Park Lane.
Thirsk went into the fixture having won their previous 10 matches and their forwards made all of the early running, putting Knaresborough under some real pressure.
They spent a period of around 15 minutes before the half-time whistle defending their own try-line doggedly with Jack Hall and Sean Whitlow in particular making numerous tackles.
Thirsk did eventually manage to cross the whitewash, but their ‘score’ was ruled out by the match referee for obstruction.
The teams went in at 0-0 at the break, but a spirited team talk resulted in Knaresborough coming out for the second period with all guns blazing.
Thirsk had to show their own defensive capabilities after the re-start, and made some big tackles to check their opponents’ attacking thrust.
As the half wore on, Knaresborough’s pack began to generate quick ball with Barney Parsons and Owen Silver outstanding in the loose.
This gave James Moorland the opportunity to distribute accurately to his outside backs, Will Stevenson making several breaks before the ball found its way to Ravuoco in some space and he sidestepped his opposite man and went in under the posts to break the deadlock.
Whitlow landed the conversion and Knaresborough had a 7-0 lead.
Soon afterwards, Brooke’s men came again and quick hands found the impressive Tuimatanisaqa in the outside chanel.
The big second row was too powerful for the cover, and he went over in the corner to register try number two.
Whitlow missed with his conversion attempt on this occasion, and although Thirsk mounted a late fightback they were unable to breach the Knaresborough defence in the closing stages.
The game ended with the score at 12-0 and Yorkshire RFU officials presented the hard-earned silverware to a delighted Knaresborough side.
The man of the match award was given to Tuimatanisaqa, not only for his touchdown but also due to the number of huge defensive hits produced while his team were under the cosh.
Knaresborough host their annual sevens tournament on July 28 with 12 teams expected to compete.