ILKLEY dropped to third in the North One East table following a shock 31-21 defeat to Pocklington.

Pocklington came to Stacks Field as underdogs having lost to Morley the previous weekend, when Ilkley had beaten Morley 32-7, but they had a reputation for pulling upsets out of the bag.

They started as they finished - on the front foot throughout a bruising encounter that had the East Yorkshire crowd thrilled as their side went at the Dalesmen as though there was no tomorrow.

The first quarter had both sides trading forays with Ilkley conceding a litany of penalties for a whole range of offences too numerous to catalogue.

After first Steve Costello and then Kodie Brook has been stopped millimetres from the Pock line, the fired up Pocklington side got a welcome assist when Ollie Holtam was yellow carded for a scrummaging offence.

The resulting kick at goal was wide but the ball was quickly gifted back. A relatively harmless looking Pocklington backs move was hassled into what appeared to be knock-on but play continued and Pock had a converted try on the board courtesy of Rob Boddy and the excellent boot of skipper Christian Pollock.

Ilkley Gazette:

An interception of a pass as Ilkley tried to break out of their half brought Pock another score out wide for Boddy again converted. Ilkley had backs to the wall now 14 points adrift.

It got worse as a brilliant try from deep in their own half was right out of the Dalesmens’ song book. Tom Richardson the scorer, Pollock added the extras.

Ilkley knew they were better than this and momentarily it was proven. A series of phases on the Pocklington line were repelled and so scrum-half Jack Maplesden wizzed a pass out to Ilkley’s strike force Struan Connor who rocketed over to pull one score back, to see Ilkley 21-7 down at the interval.

The Ilkley crowd were treated to a top drawer try initiated by Will Addyman who fed Connor to speed into Pock’s 22 and feed Maplesden to score.

Now Ilkley were right back in the game at 14-21.

The subsequent loss of Jack Leibster to a rib injury and then the main strike force of Connor to sickness unsettled the side, but replacements Peter Erskine and home debutant Harry Smith were quickly in their stride. Smith impressed with a particularly good break out of his 22, spoiled only by some poor following up.

Lack of concentration and more excellent backs play by Pock engineered the visitors another score for Boddy out wide and another super kick by Pollock widened the gap to 14 points.

With still a good half hour to play the feeling among the remaining supporters was that the Dalesmen could yet strike back.

Strike back they did when Maplesden collected a high up and under, beat at least three before popping a great pass for Jack Brown to burst through and score.

An intense and tight final quarter saw Ilkley frustrated by their own mistakes and a propensity to concede penalties. The Pock defence was magnificent and they quickly saw advantage in playing the corners in Ilkley’s 22.

A second penalty in a row had the Pock supporters baying for the three points to put the game out of sight and deny the Dalesmen a losing bonus point. The trusty boot of Pollock once again was accurate. .

ILKLEY drop to third in table a point behind Old Brodleians and Driffield both of whom Ilkley have beaten a Stacks Field.

The next match this weekend is an away trip to the seaside at Scarborough (2.15pm kick-off).