Ilkley rugby chairman Tom Gillon salutes players after greatest season

Skipper Stuart Vincent lifts the Yorkshire Shield

Skipper Stuart Vincent lifts the Yorkshire Shield

First published in Sport
Last updated

Ilkley Rugby Club are reflecting on the greatest season in their 115-year history after adding the Yorkshire Shield to the Yorkshire One championship.

Sunday’s 38-10 win over Scarborough at York meant that the Dalesmen had achieved the twin targets they set for themselves.

Rugby chairman Tom Gillon said: “I have been with the club for 33 years and I cannot remember anything quite like it, “Not only have the first team been successful but the seconds have won their league too.

“It has been a long and gruelling season but all the effort has been worthwhile.”

Ironically, it was the club’s last Yorkshire Shield triumph in 2011 that provided the foundations for the latest success.

A trip to Twickenham followed in 2012 when they were beaten by East Grinstead in the RFU Intermediate Cup final, and last year they narrowly missed out on promotion.

Much of the credit has to go to the club’s coaching team of Rhys Morgan and Steve Gra-ham.

They have crafted a side that has the meanest defence in the league and is also a potent attacking force.

Gillon added: “I cannot praise Rhys and Steve enough for the way they have established an ethos of hard work in training throughout the club.

“It has brought its rewards and long may it continue because it is great to see.”

He added: “They have prepared the team well and I believe the biggest single difference has been the ability to close out games.

“In the past we weren’t very good at that. We lost matches we should have won and that was one of the reasons we missed out last season.

“The players realised that and they have shown no mercy for the opposition.

“Their success has been the product of a lot of hard work. They deserve to take a break now and come back refreshed for the challenge of North East One next season “We know that will be another test for us.”

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