Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting IGNEWS to 80360, or email
Ilkley's promotion hopes are York-ed
York 29 Ilkley 14
Since Ilkley’s comfortable victory at home earlier in the season, York have improved greatly and remain unbeaten since October following this enthralling clash at a sunny Clifton Park last Saturday.
They avenged their defeat at Stacks Field in an excellent exhibition of running rugby.
Ilkley started the brighter side and their backs, at full strength, were able to cuts holes in the York defence and only heroic tackling and a couple of unforced errors prevented tries from Craig Barker and JH Johnson.
Ilkley finally got their just desserts after 15 minutes when Tom Collard took a quick penalty and put Mike Cacchia in under the sticks to make his conversion a formality.
Having got their reward after much hard work, Ilkley then made a fine mess of clearing from the York kick-off .
Their clearance kick was charged down and the ball popped up into York’s Billy Cakaunitabua’s arms for a stroll over to bring the score to 7-5, Jon Dawes missing the first of many kicks at goal. Ilkley then lost skipper Stuart Vincent.
The much larger York pack gradually took control and the home side went into the lead from a line-out when they did a McKenzie and mauled their way over to go 10-7 up.
At this point with five minutes to go to half-time, York were totally dominant and it came as no surprise when their Number 8 Willem Enslin crashed over for his side’s third try, Dawes obligingly missing his fourth kick at goal.
Ilkley made a lively start to the second half, but their line-out started to deteriorate and it was clear that the visitors were missing Jon Hutchinson and Steve Burns.
Good ground made in terms of promising line-outs was lost repeatedly, with poor throwing in or dropped ball.
Even when York replacement Sam Thorpe was carded for talking out of turn 15 metres out, Ilkley failed to capitalise.
They did however score their second try when McKenzie fielded a poor clearance and set up replacement Ryan Cooper for a mazy run, before putting the supporting Mike Cacchia in for his second try which he duly converted to make the score 15-14.
York’s bonus-point try came minutes later when Enslin bagged his second following a line-out and with Dawes finally locating his kicking boots, York were ahead 22-14 Whilst Ilkley still showed signs of their superior strength in the backs, Cooper Johnson and Barker all performing well, the forwards were wilting and the final nail in the coffin was driven in when York’s industrious right-wing Eddie Bradshaw scored by hitting the post as he was being tackled.
York won this game because they had heavier and more aggressive forwards and were able to starve the Ilkley backs of a lot of possession. Ilkley’s cause was not at all helped by the absence of two seasoned campaigners, especially in the line-out.
Dropping back to fourth place though is no dishonour.
The entire Ilkley squad played with passion and the whole match was played in good spirit.
On this form and with the remaining fixture list in mind, Ilkley should be looking at least to finish fourth.
Staying ahead of York and with an easier run-in than Wath, they can still claim third place.
Saturday’s match is against Barnsley, who are bottom. They attracted some quality players prior to the transfer deadline and will provide a real t