WITH a big win at Kendal in their final last game, Ilkley have finished a successful but tough season on high note.

"I'm really pleased with the boys," said Ilkley coach Rhys Morgan. "We had quite a few people out and guys missing through injury that we had a mixed team with a couple of lads making their debuts. When you make so many changes you never know how it's going to go."

With prop Billy Nichols on county duty and captain Elliot Morgan missing through injury, Max McKay played his first game in the back line and young George Kapur made a fine debut.

"Elliot wanted to play, but he's had a back injury that's been niggling him, so there was no point of risking him. The team means so much to him, but he has led us fantastically through the season."

Despite all of the changes, coach Morgan said "the lads came out firing".

Ilkley certainly did, putting up 45 points and holding Kendal without scoring a single point.

"Kendal are a vociferous bunch. Although they had a lot of single runners and not a great shape, they played hard, got stuck in and showed commitment in the tackle.

"Their ground also has a big, flat pitch that was dry under foot. It was a good track for us to run on."

The victory gave Ilkley an eighth place finish in North Premier on 67 points, which is six points better than last year.

"It's been a very, very good season, but also a hard season.

"We lost six players in the backs from last season, and 12 first teamers who played last year were not available for our first game, so I was extremely concerned.

"It was a constant battle every Thursday picking a team, but we also have to thank Otley, who loaned us some players this season."

Morgan also said that losing coach Nathan Smith to Loughborough just before the start of the season was a tough blow.

But former Leeds Carnegie and Bradford Bulls coach, Jimmy Lowes, who also played for Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos, came in to help Ilkley out.

"Jimmy has been great," said Morgan. "He's helped with technical side of our game, providing detail for our attack and defence."