Ilkley 21 Kirkby Lonsdale 7

THIS was billed as the Dalesmen's biggest test of the season. Newly-promoted Kirkby Lonsdale had won all 26 matches last season and their first two North Premier games of the current campaign.

However, Elliot Morgan and his men were totally unfazed by this record and took the game by the scruff of the neck with some scintillating rugby. Three superb tries in the first 25 minutes gave them their third victory and took them to second place in the table.

Prop Josh Cockerham, lock Will Davies and scrum half Jack Maplesden were missing from the side that won at Morley with

Henrik Ek, Martyn Mitchell and Blake Morgan coming in.

Steve Burns, Louis Jerome and Jimmy Crowther were on the bench.

Ilkley were quickly into their stride and went ahead when JH Johnson crashed over after multi-phase move which was orchestrated by scrum half Blake Morgan.

The Dalesmen were winning the midfield battle and forcing Kirkby Lonsdale into errors.

They were attacking at every opportunity and it wasn't long before Ben Magee added a second try. He picked up a loose ball on halfway and broke out of several tackles.

A delicate chip bounced beautifully onto the post and Magee outstripped the defence to touch the ball against the upright for the score.

Kirkby were becoming stranded inside their own half and continued to make errors and concede penalties.

From a line-out on the Kirkby ten-metre line, Johnson made another superb break.

He fed Magee who jinked past one to give a pinpoint pass to Tom Milner who thundered in for the third try.

Stand-off Charles Morgan converted all three tries and Ilkley were 21-0 up after 25 minutes.

Kirkby showed character and found their game which is based around a big solid pack of forwards and the probing of their scrum half.

Centres Scott Armstrong and Tom Pickthall started to test the Ilkley defence.

Once again the Dalesmen were up to the test with youngsters Joe Lowes and Blake Morgan outstanding.

The whole team rallied with some bone-crunching hits. Kirkby just could not find a way through despite spending lengthy spells in the Ilkley 22.

Coach and proud father of three of the team, Rhys Morgan, needed to inject some calm and composure into his men for what was sure to be a tough second half.

The Dalesmen struggled to find the rhythm of the opening quarter and while they looked like breaking their bonus point duck, mainly through the sniping runs of Magee and his wings Josh Hall and Tom Milner, the fourth try just wouldn't come.

A yellow card for Adam Newman disrupted the continuity even more. It gave Steve Burns his first outing for almost two years and Ilkley held out with 14 men.

Ek was replaced by Jerome and Jimmy Crowther took over from Blake Morgan for the last 15 minutes.

The absorbing game finished with a Kirkby try from fly half David Barton, but it was mere consolation as their winning run finally came to an end.

This was a stunning display by Ilkley in which every player gave his all.

Of particular note was a sold scrum with the tireless Ollie Holtam and Dan Lawrence tremendous in the loose.

The Ilkley penalty count was well down and the new laws have been interpreted well.

The line-out worked well with both Newman and Mitchell impressing, while the tough-tackling Lowes, debut-making Blake Morgan, the experienced Chris Gemmell and the elusive Magee caught the eye in a game faultlessly handled by referee Thomas Hurdley.