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Ilkley draw with unbeaten Scarborough
11:47am Thursday 10th October 2013 in Sport
Ilkley 17 Scarborough 17
Having won an impressive four from four in Yorkshire One, a beefed up Scarborough arrived at Ilkley in a confident mood and their pre-match optimism proved to be entirely justified as they swept into a 14-0 lead.
Ilkley were shambolic in the first quarter presenting the visitors with three penalties from Matthew Young and an unconverted try by Graeme Jeffrey.
The full back took the scoring pass from the outstanding centre Benji Cotttie following a break-out from their own half.
It was the first try Ilkley had conceded at Stacks Field this season and at that point Scarborough looked set to extend their winning run to five matches.
But Ilkley showed character and hit back. Craig Barker took over kicking duties from Tom Collard and at last the Ilkley faithful were rewarded with three successful kicks at goal, though it is clear that confidence in this department is still lacking.
Barker was injured after a quick break saw him collide with Scarborough’s abrasive prop Nino Cutino and Ilkley’s stand off was not the same again.
This fixture is not noted for its unruliness and neither side has the reputation of being from the dark side, yet there was enough controversy to warrant some inter-club bickering, not least concerning the contribution of the 19-year-old exchange referee from Gloucester.
Not for the first time, the home side suffered from hair-splitting decisions that went against them and the last two proved to be decisive.
The first occurred on the Scarborough 22 with five minutes to go and Ilkley finally leading 17-14.
Stu Brewer’s great run was halted by some resolute Scarborough defence, but from the subsequent ruck, Iain McKenzie was adjudged to have handled the ball on the ground and a 50- metre gain was lost and to the fury of the home crowd.
Ilkley’s brace of tries came from the ever-improving Steve Nolson. His first came after the two visiting centres lost the ball in their own half, having stolen an Ilkley scrum.
Nolson hacked through and won the race to touch down, Barker’s conversion adding to his earlier penalty when Scarborough were penalised for handling in a ruck. His second was a classy score, ten minutes from time. Ilkley’s belief in themselves to trundle over from short range from line-outs close to the opposition line was challenged successfully several times by the visiting pack, but eventually, from an attacking scrum, Ilkley’s backs put a cohesive move together.
Skipper Stuart Vincent came into the line at pace to offload to Nolson, who gleefully crashed over the whitewash under the posts, giving his side the lead for the first time, a position enhanced by Barker’s successful conversion.
Scarborough’s Young failed with a long-range penalty when Ilkley failed to retreat quickly enough.
Then came the mjor talking point. From a scrum on their own 22, Ilkley won the ball comfortably and broke out, only for Brewer to be penalised for a shirt tug. This time Young made no mistake. There is no doubt that the Seasiders went home more contented than their hosts.
Discounting the first 20 minutes , Ilkley were the better side for an hour, but failed to make their superiority count with points.
The visitors’ forwards more than held their own against Ilkley’s and it is clear that the home side have a limited kicking game.
In this league, you have to kick your goals and the forthcoming visit of fourth-placed Selby on Saturday should prove interesting.
Selby have never beaten Ilkley in league rugby, but they have a similar wide pitch and cruised through Yorkshire Two last season. A home win for the Dalesmen is absolutely essential, preferably earned with converted tries.
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