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McKenzie's hat-trick triggers Ilkley's sixth-successive league victory
Ilkley 47 Old Brodleians 7
Rampant Ilkley recorded their sixth straight league win on Saturday as they swept aside a shell-shocked Old Brods outfit to continue their fine early season form.
The much-revised back line, in which only two remain from last year’s squad, is looking like a slick unit, and they wasted little time in highlighting the point during the opening exchanges.
Immediate quick ball through the half back partnership of Tom Collard and Mike Cachia provided Ilkley with a real sense of impetus that their opponents looked ill-equipped to deal with early on.
Two penalties awarded in front of the posts were squandered in the opening ten minutes as Ilkley opted to scrum their way into breaking the deadlock.
Whilst the groans of the crowd seemed understand- able, it was clear that this was an Ilkley side attempting to assert authority over opponents without a win since the opening day. Ilkley meant business.
It was a revision to a faithful old technique that saw two tries scored in reasonably quick succession.
Ilkley’s truck and trailer routine is one revered around the league, and as is so often the case, Iain McKenzie was the man to touch down, first at 14 minutes and then again ten minutes later.
Cachia’s faithful right boot added both conversions for a 14-0 lead.
Old Brodleians, lacklustre in the first half hour, began to grow into the match but were hit on the break by some classy handling.
A fine run from JH Johnson was the catalyst for Tom MacLean to touch down in the corner. Cachia narrowly missed the conversion.
And they weren’t finished there. Another fearsome drive from the Ilkley pack allowed number eight McKenzie, skipper in the absence of the injured Stuart Vincent, to touch down for a first half hat-trick.
The try was duly converted to make the half-time score 26-0.
Twice this season, against Huddersfield and Knotting- ley, Ilkley have produced sloppy second-half perform- ances to reduce huge first -half leads.
It was not to be the case on Saturday, though, as a converted try by Johnson settled any nerves.
The score, however, seemed to jerk Brods into life, as they enjoyed their best period of the match on an hour mark.
Added intensity in their pack lead the way for a runaway Aaron Fowler try, converted by Daniel Wood.
It wasn’t long after, though, that Ilkley reasserted their authority on the match.
The back row of McKenzie, Nathan Bland and Ollie Renton controlled much of the second half and closed it out with little fuss.
Two further tries, first from the ever impressive Tom Collard, and then a second for JH Johnson, gave the scoreline added glamour in a match where the Dalesmen showcased their promotion credentials.