Ilkley 56 Bridlington 0
A scintillating performance by the Dalesmen kept the dream of the Yorkshire Division One title and Yorkshire Shield double alive as a poor Bridlington side was demolished at Stacks Field.
For the fourth time in league action this season the opposition were prevented from scoring which must be particularly satisfying for the coaching staff.
Ilkley were just unplayable on the day and whilst the visitors’ forwards did their best, their line out was awful and when the ball was eventually risked to the backs, Ilkley were more than able to soak up the pressure. The Bridlington backs were second-best all afternoon.
Ilkley looked far more confident than in the 14-0 Yorkshire Shield semi-final win over West Leeds. The passing was perfect and their teamwork shone through as the tries flowed.
With Doncaster Phoenix losing again, the Championship is very much in Ilkley’s hands – a win against table-toppers Dinnington on Saturday should avoid a play-off on April 26.
The returning Ollie Renton was named on the bench, but he saw early action when flanker Gus Ramsey limped off after only ten minutes. Pete Small was back too and his return was instrumental in Ilkley’s success at the line-out.
Ilkley opened their scoring with a Josh Kimber penalty and followed up almost with another score from the restart. Stu Brewer made a break before passing to Steve Nolson inside his own half.
The centre set off on a mazy run which saw him spurn the support of his colleagues as he dummied his was past the bewildered Bridlington defence to score under the posts. His try was converted by Kimber.
Bridlington’s forwards were doing their level best to disrupt Ilkley’s flow of ball but losing their own line-out five metres out proved to be disastrous as Brewer claimed his 24th try of the campaign. Kimber’s conversion attempt hit the post.
Small blotted his copybook with a yellow card, but this potential setback didn’t prove to be a handicap at all.
Kimber kicked ahead after fielding a Bridlington clearance and won the chase to score in the corner. A terrific conversion gave the home side a 22-0 half-time lead.
The second half was all Ilkley and it was a pleasure to watch some first-rate team play. Steve Graham scored the home side’s bonus point-point try after a stunning run of play initiated by J-H Johnson’s chip ahead.
The Ilkley wing got on the scoresheet soon afterwards follo-wing a superb Kimber break. The stand-off managed the conversion to make the score 34-0 Skipper Stuart Vincent limped off and his replacement Mark Lovett’s first touch was to score wide on the left.
Whilst superior throughout at the scrum,, Ilkley were penalised again by referee Jason Garrick and prop Tom Baxter was given a yellow card.
This apparent disparity was irrelevant though as with 14 men, Ilkley had sapped the will of their visitors and went on to score via winger Paul Petchey, in the left corner, courtesy of a selfless pass by tireless centre Alastair Monks.
Within minutes, the Bridlington full-back had fumbled, allowing Small a well-deserved try and it only remained for Nolson to put the icing on the cake with a powerful burst under the posts.
The three tries, plus a Kimber conversion put Ilkley 56-0 up.
This was a particularly satisfying win as Ilkley really did play to their full potential.
There are still some tough fixtures ahead, but on this form, who would bet against them achieving the double?