ILKLEY were unable to continue their winning run as they were downed by high flying Macclesfield 36-7 in the North Premier.

Although, the visitors did make a terrific start to the game tearing into their opponents and making ground with each attack.

This early pressure brought a penalty chance, however, unusually, Chuck Ramsay missed.

More pressure led to a quickly taken penalty by Blake Morgan who made good ground with his trade mark weaving runs but was stopped short of scoring. Macclesfield took the ensuing scrum showing what a hefty pack can do and giving notice that the afternoon wasn’t going to be an easy one.

Great passing saw the returning Matt Burke make ground before passing inside to the supporting Morgan who dotted it down under the posts for a converted try

Ilkley then dropped the ball at the kick off and the Macclesfield scrum rumbled forward gaining a penalty.

From the resulting lineout, the hosts forwards drove over for their hooker to score an unconverted try.

Foul play by the home side saw their No.8 take a 10 minute break, Ramsay was unable to convert the penalty.

Ilkley were unable to take advantage of the yellow card and along with losing possession in good positions their efforts went unrewarded.

Despite 5 changes to their pack, Ilkley repulsed this pressure and took the resulting scrum after Macclesfield knocked on.

They cleared well and more effective passing and running saw Morgan making ground once again.

He was held up in the tackle and Ilkley lost possession as errors crept into their game.

Play continued to and fro until Ilkley again dropped the ball in attack for their opponents to force them back to their line where Macclesfield’s scrum drove over for their errant No.8 to give them a five point lead at half time.

Ramsay had to leave the field with rib damage which didn’t help his sides efforts.

Ilkley were coming under greater pressure as the Macclesfield pack exerted their dominance and Sam Moss went over again from a scrum.

Alec Graham was then replaced by brother Callum.

A further score from Sam Stelmaszek took Macclesfield to a 15 point lead.

The Dalesmen strove manfully to take the game to the hosts but errors and not clearing when under pressure meant they were pushed back.

A fracas broke out meaning Matt Harrison and Sam Broster took a breather for 10.

Morgan made another trademark break stopped illegally by Dan Lomax, who joined the sin bin.

Ilkley’s pack showed resilience in gaining some parity with Mac at this stage and they continued their attacking play.

Then fate dealt the away side an undeserved blow when a sweeping move with excellent passing saw Mac intercept to score under the posts.

There was no way back now and when Hyde was sinbinned Ilkley’s depleted pack were pushed back and from a lineout Moss drove over to score an converted try

It was always a big ask for Ilkley to control this game against a heavier and powerful Macclesfield pack and despite having Matt Burke back and fielding their Oxford Blue, Barnaby Vaughan at prop, they were always up against it.

This continues to be a very motivated, young Ilkley side learning with every game which will hopefully have more reward from the remaining games.

Their attacking play continued to excite their travelling band of supporters and once the errors and dropped balls in promising positions are eradicated, better results may be on the horizon.

The pressure remains this week with the visit of Blackburn who also have a powerful pack and Ilkley will have Ed King missing as he goes travelling along with Kobe O’Brien and Matty Stewart.

Luke Pearson, Tom Dickinson and Captain Joe Lowes are back however to strengthen the side and gain another much needed win.