Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting IGNEWS to 80360, or email
Petchey pounces to seal Ilkley win
Heath 11 Ilkley 13
Having put local rivals Keighley to the sword the week before, Ilkley travelled to the West Vale outfit’s new ground in an attempt to register their first Yorkshire Division One away win of the season.
Historically this is not a happy hunting ground for the Dalesmen, but a patchy yet effective performance saw the visitors consolidate their top half position with a 13-11 victory. Ilkley’s kicking woes continue, but out-scoring the opposition’s try-count will do nicely, thank you, risky though this tactic may prove against more technically astute opponents.
Heath led at half-time 3-0 which was at odds with the fact that Ilkley’s scrum and line-out were at all times superior.
The home side were still ahead until four minutes from the end when Paul Petchey’s try snatched a deserved win for the visitors.
Heath’s strength lay in their ferocious tackling, which disrupted Ilkley to the extent that they seemed consistently on the back foot, conceding several penalties, one of which was eventually converted by centre Cayce Pearson to put the home side ahead.
Ilkley were certainly suffering from the new referee’s interpretation of the laws.
It was 25 minutes before Ilkley were awarded their first penalty, when Heath collapsed a maul for the second time.
The second half began with Ilkley immediately on the offensive and the forwards’ power player took them to the Heath line, only to see the ball squirting out and Heath booting it to safety.
They then scored an amazing try. After winning a line-out in the Ilkley 22, the Heath backs dropped the ball twice in a ponderous move against a sleepy Ilkley defence that led to a try for left wing Rob Thackray. Pearson missed the difficult kick but the home side led 8-0. Ilkley responded immediately with great effect. Winning a penalty and subsequent line-out, their trade-mark maul was pulled down yet again and penalised.
Tom Collard’s quick thinking and even swifter tap-penalty saw him go over for a try to bring the score to 8-5, his conversion attempt drifting wide.
Inevitably, Heath came back strongly and another bizarre refereeing decision gave Pearson the opportunity to edge his side 11-8 ahead.
The visitors then really did suffer from two further controversial decisions.
Firstly, Ilkley got their rolling maul well into gear, only to be penalised for an apparent ‘ truck and trailer ‘ offence, just metres from the Heath line and this was shortly followed by outstanding Ilkley lock Steve Burns being awarded a try, then having the decision reversed.
Captain Stuart Vincent elected to go for the win, eschewing three kickable penalties.
This was finally achieved when a Heath attack broke down deep in the Ilkley half.
Stu Brewer picked up and made 50 metres, before setting up the briefest of mauls, from which evergreen Iain McKenzie fed the dangerous Petchey who sprinted to the line.
Ilkley were finally in the lead with time running out for the home side.
Collard’s missed conversion did not prove costly as Heath were penalised from the kick-off and Collard kicked the penalty into touch to end the game.
This was by no means a pretty game and to play indifferently and win is the sign of a good side.
On a wider pitch, Ilkley’s backs will fare better in attack, not least because Craig Barker will have more time at stand off and the rest of the backs will have the space to realise their undoubted potential. Their defence proved pretty solid again. Ilkley have a good record against their next opponents, Scarborough, although the Seasiders have won all four of their opening games.
Comments are closed on this article.