Sandal 37 Ilkley 14

HAVING won four and lost just one match and narrowly at that, Ilkley travelled to Wakefield with their tails up, their pack bolstered by the return of Martyn Mitchell and Dan Lawrence. Sandal on the other hand were seeking their first win.

Lying third at kick-off time, the Dalesmen suffered something of a horror show, their hosts notching up five league points against a nil return.

The loss drops Ilkley into sixth place and worryingly, showed weaknesses in most areas of play. And again, they faced a marksman with the boot in Sandal stand-off Greg Wood who kicked seven goals in a 17-point haul.

Sandal bossed the game from the start and following a penalty by Wood, former Ilkley centre Steve Nolson took a great line for the first try which Wood converted for a 10-0 lead.

Ilkley profited from a Sandal mistake five minutes later when Josh Hall scored a try which Charles Morgan’s converted.

The Dalesmen, who had lost JH Johnson to an early injury, were back in the game, but not for long.

Sandal’s intensity set up a try for winger James Eller.

The second half started well for the visitors, scrum-half Blake Morgan scampering over and with his brother converting to rescue the deficit to three points.

But that was it, so far as Ilkley were concerned. Wood took increasing control of the game with his boot.

Ilkley did have a couple of opportunities to score, but a lack of precision let them down and insult was added to injury when Nolson bagged his second try.

The misery increased as an increasingly dominant Sandal pack set up a try for another old boy, prop Tom Baxter to earn the bonus point.

Wood’s conversion followed, as did a yellow card each for Blake Morgan and Sandal’s Will Morecombe and it was left to Wood to deliver the coup de grace with two more penalties to complete the rout.