THERE was no banana-skin at Stacks Field for Ilkley’s last home match of the season, but the rampant Dalesmen put a severely limited Wilmslow side to the sword on Saturday.

This was a game of two halves for sure, but in this case, a perfect mirror image - 26-0 at half-time and 52-0 at full-time.

And the forwards (actually one forward) scored all four tries before the break and the backs all four thereafter.

Charles Ramsey chipped in with six conversions - three in each half.

Max McKay’s week on the piste clearly did him a power of good, as the No 8 powered over for four tries.

Struan Connor scored two, with Archie Elgood and Ramsey completing the scoring with a try apiece.

Wilmslow retained possession quite well for the opening spell, but once Ilkley won it back, they kept it until they scored.

Blake Morgan would have done better to have passed after a super break, but Ilkley kept the ball live until McKay went over for his first, Ramsey dragging his kick left.

Despite conceding a penalty immediately after the restart, Ilkley were soon back in opposition territory, only to lose their line.

Wilmslow were unable to capitalise and coughed up the ball, which lead to a lovely break by Ramsey.

The pass didn’t go to hand, but Ilkley won a scrum on the Wilmslow five metre line and McKay picked up and scored with little opposition. This time Ramsey’s kick was good to make it 12-0.

Wilmslow came back well and when Dan Lawrence was penalised for a high tackle, Elliot Rose’s kick took his side just outside the Ilkley 22.

A patient build up led to a shuddering collision between Ed Brown and his opposite man and the Ilkley centre had to leave the field, fortunately under his own steam.

Elgood came on to the right wing, JH Johnson moving to centre and Ilkley had some defending to do.

First a five metre line was pinched and then the Wilmslow counter was ended when their ball carrier was bundled into touch.

Blake Morgan broke out of defence and after Wilmslow transgressed once more, there was McKay again, popping up at inside-centre for his hat-trick. Ramsey slid it over for a 19-0 lead.

There was time for another counter from Wilmslow, easily rebuffed, before another patient build-up through the phases led to McKay’s fourth and Ramsey’s third for a 26-0 lead.

Wilmslow‘s plucky riposte was held up over the line and referee Mr Morrison blew for half-time.

The first quarter of an hour of the second half was a trifle dull, enlivened only by a lovely Ilkley move upfield winding up with an unfortunate knock-on.

Dullness morphed into scrappiness and the terraces grew restless. Wilmslow were going nowhere, but neither were their hosts.

The stalemate was brief and ended by a great take in the line-out by Peter Erskine, followed by a full-on sprint for the Wilmslow line from Connor. There was no conversion, but Ilkley led 31-0.

More scrappy play ensued. Wilmslow had their centre Hughes taking a 10-minute break for a deliberate knock-on before Ilkley’s backs took charge. Ramsey took the pass to go under the posts - his kick making it 38-0.

Wilmslow had effectively thrown in the towel and with Ilkley’s fitness coming to the fore, another two tries were notched from broken play.

First, Connor popped up a pass for Elgood’s first senior try - much applauded by his teammates - and then Connor himself danced his way through some desultory defence to register his side’s final score of the day.

So, a job well done, but the feeling was that it could have been better. Better than an eight-try mauling? Moot point, but there’s no doubt that this Saturday’s opposition will be considerably sterner.

Harrogate still have a play-off place to consider and the game will have a particular edge, as all local derbies do.

Ilkley have now matched last season’s points tally and whilst it might prove difficult to improve on last year’s seventh place, there is an opportunity with two games left to end with higher points.

The final match against Kendal may still have a significant roll in deciding who stays up and who goes down. It’s over at Stacks Field, but not on the road.