HAVING had an enforced week off, both Ilkley and Malton and Norton were keen to get their seasons back on track, especially the hosts, having been at the wrong end of an upset at Stacks Field at the hands of Pocklington.

The visitors on the other hand had enjoyed a comfortable victory against Consett.

Ilkley were without a regular scrum-half and the position was gamely filled by Ben King, joined by his side’s returning strike-force of J-H Johnson, Kristan Dobson and Harry Boyd.

It wasn’t the best of starts for the Dalesmen, who conceded a penalty after fluffing their lines at the first scrum of the day. The normally reliable Shane Poole fluffed his too though, but when offered a second chance minutes later, he made no mistake.

The hosts’ first decent foray into enemy territory was rewarded with a penalty when Malton’s backs drifted offside, Chuckie Ramsay kicking the goal. Two minutes later, King gathered a clearance kick and returned the ball with interest. Malton then offended at the breakdown and Ramsay punished the error with his second success, tying the scores at six each.

Referee Mr.Hudson wasn’t long in awarding yet another penalty, this time to Malton when Ilkley were deemed to have held on in the tackle and Poole made no mistake.

Ilkley were soon back on the attack and following another exquisite Johnson touch-find, Malton were penalised twice in quick succession. From the second of these, a quickie, Ramsay popped up a lovely pass to Dobson, who had acres of space to touch down without a hand being laid on him. Ramsay’s kick made it 13-9 as half-time approached and there was no further score.

The second half saw Ilkley start where they left off and with Johnson straightening the line on every attack, the Malton defence was getting rattled, conceding another penalty for a high tackle. Ramsay’s metronomic boot did the business, and it was 16.9.

Johnson and Boyd led the next attack and when Johnson’s booming kick rolled into touch five metres out, Malton again conceded at the line. With perhaps a little blood rushing to heads, a quick one was taken and whilst the move was stopped, happily for Ilkley, the defending line strayed offside, giving Ramsay the chance to put his side two scores ahead, duly taken.

The next try came after Malton wisely realised that they were getting no change from Ilkley’s defensive back-line, so decided to let the pack take over. This they did very well and to great effect, working the moves from the half way line to Ilkley’s goal line, before second row Will Hughs cashed over in the corner. Poole’s excellent conversion made it 19.16.

Entering the last quarter of the game and with the home side well on top, Malton knocked-on from a 22. The scrum was well won and the ball spun out to the predator that is Kristan Dobson, who again was able to waltz through a tired looking defence. Ramsay was good again and it was 26-16.

Ilkley’s forwards then demonstrated what they were capable of,Johnson found Boyd on his right and the winger made no mistake with a well-taken try in the corner. Ramsay’s 100% record remained intact with a great touch line conversion and there was five minutes to go with the score at 33-16. Malton did pull one back for a final score of 33-21.