ILKLEY have relinquished their Secure Trading 24/7 title, leaving their head of rugby Rhys Morgan bitterly disappointed.

After they went out by a mere 11 points in the Northern play-offs at West Park Leeds last Saturday, Morgan said: "We had six of our original squad of 12 unavailable."

After losses to Newcastle International Jets and Billingham, Ilkley put themselves back in the picture by defeating the Mighty Peth, and then needed to defeat Northern Assassins by 21 points to qualify.

Morgan said: "We didn't play well and lost a couple of games, but got ourselves back into it.

"Then we gave Assassins a 14-point start, which meant that we needed to score five tries, and we only went out overall by 11 points, which is bitterly disappointing.

"Chris Gemmell gave away an interception try, and we were looking forward to going back to Bath for the finals on July 28.

"The players are a bit jaded as some of them have played in nine competitions, and now we just have our own sevens competition on Saturday and need to find one last push.

"But I am conscious that we don't need the players to be too tired before they switch their focus to 15-a-side."

A total of 14 men's teams have entered on Saturday and four women's teams, although one of them may drop out.

Morgan said: "Although we had a couple of cry-offs on Tuesday night, I am happy about the 14 male teams but wouldn't want the female teams to drop to any less than three, where we will play a round-robin with the top two meeting in the final."

Registration is at 10am, with the action starting at 11am, with cash prizes for the later stages.

Entry is free for spectators, and there will be paella and a barbecue, live music and a DJ.

Morgan added: "We have secured a big screen for England's World Cup match against Sweden, and are halting the sevens tournament to watch it."

After this weekend, Ilkley's focus will switch to preparing for their North Premier league campaign, and they have had good news on the player front.

Morgan explained: "We switched training to Monday night to avoid England's match against Colombia and had a good turnout of 26 or 27 players, and one of them was a new lad called Joss Stringwell, a centre who is a friend of Struan Connor.

"We have been doing a mixture of ball work and, under Gary Dempsey, strength and conditioning work.

"Gary has his own schedule for us but has worked with us in terms of a schedule that was laid down by Nathan Smith before he left."