IT was a miserable weekend for Ilkley with matters both on and off the pitch causing problems.

Storm Ciara caused havoc up and down the country and the effect on Stacks Field was no different.

Heavy winds and rains left the pitch submerged in water as the picture (right) shows.

Although, the Dalesmen managed to get their North Premier fixture with Wirral out of the way, they were still caught in somewhat of a storm.

Ilkley suffered a whitewash 38-0 defeat at the the hands of the ninth-placed visitors, their second scoreless result in the space of a week.

Head of Rugby Rhys Morgan did not have the best of weekend's as he also had to cancel a fundraiser where over 100 people were set to attend.

Speaking firstly on the state of the pitch after the storm, he said: "It is pretty wet. With our experience and good drainage we are optimistic that it will get back into shape fairly sharpish.

"The first team are away this weekend so I am hoping that there should not be any long-term damage.

"Having seen it do it before, it will be fine, but it will just take a bit of time as the rain keeps coming.

"Sometimes the second team pitch is under water at lunchtime and then by evening we are training on it.

"Fingers crossed that there won’t be any permanent damage, I don’t think it has got into any of the buildings which is lucky.

"Sunday night we had an event where 105 guests were coming, and we had to call it off.

"We have had to reschedule that which we were disappointed about."

Morgan added: "I put my hand up when we are not at the races but on Saturday we got an exchange referee who had no understanding of the players or of the laws.

"I try my best to not talk about the referees, but he wasn’t at the standard he should have been.

"That was a major contribution to the first half which frustrated players.

"Second half we had the momentum but didn’t have the penetration or the strength to get it over the line. We got wrapped up in the game and made some wrong calls."

Basement side Ilkley are in dire straits with only eight games remaining they sit on a lowly 11 points, 16 less then next placed Morpeth.

The Dalesmen travel to Billingham this weekend expecting another hard slog, although Morgan is struggling to blame his young players who have had to fill in for their depleted squad.

He said: "Times are tough. I am not going to slate the players for their mistakes, they are desperately trying to do their best.

"Our biggest challenge is just getting a team out. I really feel for the boys.

"I am not making a selection based on ability, I am making a selection based on availability. It is not how it should be done but that is how it is.

"We have captain out, vice-captain out and the list goes on. I can count 15 either injured or unavailable from the team that we started with.

"We will keep plugging away it is a tough season but we are not going to give in."