ILKLEY started 2020 in perfect style by edging to their first win in nine, defeating Carlisle 32-29 at Stacks Field.

Although, Rhys Morgan's men still remain at the foot of the Northern Premier table, their second victory of the season certainly provides some much need relief.

The match was overshawdowed by the passing of past president and long-term supporter Sir David Jones CBE.

After an appropriately respectful silence for Sir David and under the watchful gaze of 60 or so ex-players who had graced the greensward at Stacks Field over six decades, referee Kieron Henry got the game underway.

For 15 minutes both sides probed but defences held firm aided by the odd loose pass when the line was in sight.

This was until Eddy Brown went on a mazy run and sent a beautifully weighted inside pass to Chuckie Ramsay who burst through a rare space in the visitors’ defensive line.

Ramsay off-loaded to the rampant Louis Fraser who scored the try to break the deadlock.

Ilkley went 12 up on the half hour mark when a brilliant phase of play from the backs was finished off in the corner by the reliable Tom Dickinson.

The seemingly inevitable response from the away side produced a high tackle penalty of which they opted for points.

Carlisle enjoyed a period of intense pressure, eventually opening up a big hole in Ilkley’s hitherto solid defence to produce a try under the posts for Henry Wainright.

It was first blood for Carlisle in the second half as Wainright bagged his brace after sustained pressure on the Ilkley line. The conversion was successful, meaning the scoreline stood at 12-17 in the visitors favour and the sense of foreboding was palpable.

However, the hosts bounced straight back at Carlisle who had to prevent a superb break by pulling the man back without the ball.

A second yellow card was produced and Ramsay made no mistake to make the deficit two points.

Then the gods conspired against Morgan’s men as a clear and obvious knock-on on the Ilkley line was waved play on by the referee.

The ball was picked up by Matt Charters and a try was given with both sides stood by stockstill in amazement.

After sustained Ilkley pressure, Ramsay used all his strength to crash over in the corner.

He scuffed his conversion attempt but a 20-22 scoreline got the crowd re-enthused and the noise levels rose another decibel.

With their tails up the home side were back on the hunt for another score.

A stunning piece of play set up from the tigerish Blake Morgan marshalling matters allowed Ilkley to take the lead.

The ball was thrown down the back line to Harry Harrison who made vital metres before offloading to Floris van Oekel who went over in the corner to celebrate his first try for the club.

Yet another yellow card was shown to the away side after J-H Johnson broke from deep with one of his trademark runs.

His chip over the top was pinpoint and the Carlisle defender had no option but to take him out of play illegally.

To add insult to Carlisle’s injury the referee awarded Ilkley a penalty try.

With a couple of minutes left on the clock surely 14 man Ilkley's, following Billy Nicholls' injury, day could not have been dampened.

However, Carlisle’s player coach Matty Shields fashioned a good try under the posts.

A successful conversion by Connon made it a nervy three point difference finish.

Joe Lowes and his men played out a sensible ending to capture a crucial five point victory.

The Dalesmen face an uphill battle if they are going to form somewhat of a winning run in this tough division as they travel to fourth-placed Macclesfield on Sunday.