ILKLEY head of rugby Rhys Morgan says his side will continue their fine form during the second half of the season if they continue to put in the hard yards during training.

The Stacks Field side are sixth in the North Premier following a 31-17 victory at Kirkby Lonsdale. But they face a sterner test on Saturday when they host second-placed Billingham.

Ilkley stormed to 31-0 up with only a few minutes left against Kirkby, as injuries to key players and a shuffling of their line-up took its toll. But, despite conceding three late tries, they managed to hang on for the vital victory.

Prop Billy Nicholls (flu), No 8 Max MacKay (back spasm) and Blake Morgan (shoulder), who all suffered injuries against Kirkby, are all fit and available for Saturday's clash.

But Chuckie Ramsey is unavailable due to work commitments. Pat Atkinson is expected to come in at fly-half.

The Kirkby victory also continues Ilkley's pre-Christmas winning run, as their festive break from action did not slow down their momentum.

Now Ilkley want to continue the positive vibes their winning form has created with coach Jimmy Lowes, the former Bradford Bulls favourite, looking for twice-weekly training commitment from his players.

Morgan said: "I always look back and think 'where are we compared to this time last year?' This year, we have picked up a win at Sandal. We are now a win ahead of this time last season.

"If we can continue this and pick up a few more wins, we will have a great second half of the season.

"The boys have been absolutely fantastic. I didn't think we would know for sure if we were staying in this league until April, but we have done really well.

"The lads have to push on now. Jimmy Lowes is really keen for us to push on now. He wants to get everyone in for training on Tuesday and Thursday nights for the rest of the season.

"We got the points and it was down to what happened over the full 80 minutes, not the last 10. We already had the job done."

Morgan added he is under no illusions of the task ahead for his side this weekend.

He said: "Billingham don't always travel as well as they might, but they are a difficult team to beat at home.

"We have a good home record this season. We were 10 minutes away from beating Billingham up at their place earlier this season. We have run into a bit of form too.

"Billingham are going to be tough to beat. They have a good No 8 who takes some knocking down. They have a very strong side.

"They are near the top of the league, so nothing is expected of us."