SEVEN tries and eleven points from the boot of J-H Johnson suggests second-placed Ilkley had a comfortable drive down a one-way street with the visit of fourth from bottom Morley.

But the young Leeds side were quick and inventive and the Dalesmen definitely did not have it all their own way.

What they did have though was a superior back-line, illustrated by Harry Boyd’s hat-trick and Kristan Dobson’s brace, supplemented by a try each for Kodie Brook and Steve Costello.

Ilkley’s lively start was rewarded with their first try on six minutes, with an Archie Elgood pass missing out his stand-off and going straight to Dobson, who then delivered the perfect ball to fellow-centre Brook to go over.

Just three minutes later, after good work by Ollie Pearson on the wing, a short pass from Johnson gave Dobson all the room he needed to score in an identical position. This time, Johnson’s kick crept apologetically over via the crossbar, but it’s how many, not how and Ilkley were now 12-0 up.

Any thought that we were about to witness a massacre was cast aside as a kick through into Ilkley’s 22 rolled into touch. Morley’s pack stole the line-out and the maul rumbled towards Ilkley’s goal line. Sensing a bit more weight was required, a couple of Morley’s backs joined in the fun and over the leviathan went, centre and skipper Harrison Baylis emerging with ball in hand.

Noah Hawkins ended up on his back as he kicked for goal, but the indignity was assuaged by watching the ball sail over to bring the score to 12-7.

Next came a real team try. Johnson fielded his own delicate chip over Morley’s defensive line and fed Pearson, who was held up. Ilkley won the scrum, but were then penalised for holding on in the tackle, allowing the visitors’ defence to clear.

Now it was Ilkley’s turn to pinch a line, the outstanding Peter Erskine leaping like a salmon to claim the spoils. Dobson came close again before being hauled down, but possession was retained and Costello crashed over to make it 17-7.

Morley’s next attack tempted Ilkley to wander offside, for which they were punished by Hawkins.

Back came the Dalesmen and a charged-down clearance kick rolled into touch on the Morley 22. The visitors did their best to break out, but a forward pass gave Ilkley the scrum. Johnson stood wide, which allowed Boyd to enter the gap at speed from the blindside and touch down for the bonus-point try on thirty minutes. Johnson’s kick made it 24-10.

Hawkins was accurate for Morley with the boot and the half-time whistle went with the score at 24-17 and Morley still very much in the game.

In the second half, Johnson’s raking kick rolled into touch and under the new laws, Ilkley were awarded the throw. Ilkley’s pack headed for the line, but were held up. From the scrum, Maplesden made ground with a sharp break, feeding Dobson, who then selflessly offloaded to Boyd to score wide out left. Johnson’s conversion attempt in the wind was on the spectacular spectrum - 31-17.

Entering the last quarter of the game, Morley drifted offside and Johnson took the points on offer to make it 34-17 and replacements Max Jones and Ollie Ham took the field.

Ilkley were doing their best to turn the screw now, but Morley were hanging on tenaciously. It took a sumptuous kick from the back of the scrum by Maplesden to put his side back into the Morley 22. More magic from the Ilkley backs and Boyd scorched through a large defensive gap and over for his third, the conversion missing.

At 39-17 Morley could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel, but there was to be none of that as they put together some very classy moves to work their way up the pitch, eventually rewarded by another well-worked try by Baylis. Hawkin’s kick was good and it was 39-24.

With just five minutes left to play, Ilkley’s backs produced a master class in the art of attacking rugby in broken play. A kick from defence was fielded by Harry Smith and the young full-back set off on a sinuous run, making a full fifty metres before offloading to Boyd, who in turn fed Dobson to deliver the coup de grace under the posts. Johnson added the extras and the match ended at 46-24 to Ilkley.

Ilkley ravel to Pocklington next.