Ilkley 21 Lymm 3

ILKLEY produced one of their best performances of the season to defeat a Lymm side who arrived at Stacks Field sitting second in the North Premier League and boasting the best defensive record.

They left with just a solitary penalty goal in reply to three tries of real quality as they lost for only the third time this season.

The first half saw Lymm put a stamp on the game as they pounded the Ilkley defensive lines with some great rugby.

Phase after phase of attack was repelled by Ilkley’s magnificent defence.

Lymm battered at the home line through their lively forwards and spread the ball wide across their young and athletic back line, but simply couldn’t find a way through.

They probably had 80% possession and actually breached the Dalesmens’ line three

times, only to be held up by tenacious Ilkley defenders.

Yes, they also made mistakes, mainly forced, which enabled Ilkley to escape unscathed.

Ilkley did have a number of periods of possession and threatened the Lymm line

once or twice.

Skipper Elliott Morgan, leading from the front, took a shoulder to the mouth and ended up badly wounded. He had to be replaced by younger brother Blake.

Pat Atkinson moved to centre with young Morgan on the wing. He was soon knocking them down with the rest of his team mates.

Just when it looked as though the half would end in a scoreless stalemate, Ilkley conceded a penalty on their 22. After what seemed an eternity playing the advantage, referee Thomas Hurdley took play back for the penalty kick. It was slotted perfectly to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.

The magic words of head of rugby Rhys Morgan were administered at half-time and the passion from the crowd clearly lifted the Dalesmen.

A strong start with two sets of multiple phases seemed to replicate Lymm’s best efforts of the first half.

In contrast, Ilkley put their chances away. Steve Burns made some hard yards to set the ball nicely for scrum half Jack Maplesden to spot half a space through which he darted to score, giving Charles Morgan an easy conversion.

Ilkley were showing the greater enterprise and tenacity. Every man on the park was straining every sinew to keep the Cheshire outfit out.

Flanker Joe Lowes was tackling Lymm men like a hungry tiger at his prey.

Yes, Lymm had their chances, given up by the Dalesmen in the form of penalty kicks, but they didn’t take advantage thanks to some amazing defence.

When a speculative Lymm kick found its way over the Ilkley line, Ben Magee gathered, but was caugh.

Somehow his super strength carried him back into play and Lymm were penalised for not releasing. Danger over, Ilkley now picked up the tempo.

Dan Lawrence replaced Harry Wales for the final quarter as Ilkley attacked again.

A line-out was well secured and driven 15 metres. From the back, the mercurial

Maplesden saw another small gap.

He flew through it and Pat Power was on his shoulder to take a scoring pass. Charles Morgan added the extras.

The sparse crowd was elated and roared the Dalesmen on. A great kick from Charles Morgan pinned Lymm back on their 22.

Three sets of multiple phases got Ilkley to the line before a penalty saved the visitors.

Another mistake gave Ilkley a scrum on the Lymm 10 metre line. There is no better sight in rugby than JH Johnson on the charge.

He picked up and bullocked through two defenders and, like an angry Rhino, set of for the line with three defenders hanging on to various parts of his anatomy or his kit.

Nothing could stop him scoring and Charles Morgan landed his third conversion to complete the scoring.

Full-time brought another roar from the crowd and an even louder one from the elated players.

This was indeed a very special team effort. There were no weak links and, to a man,

bodies were laid on the line for the greater good.

The Dalesmen’s performance was a reward for the tireless efforts of groundsmen Richard Mulligan and Bobby Simms in getting the pitch fit after the pounding it took in the Pocklington match.

A great team effort on and off the pitch.