ILKLEY’S head coach Rhys Morgan has explained why there was a cheer akin to England winning the World Cup at the end of their dramatic 30-28 victory over Cleckheaton at Stacks Field.

It looked like the spoils were going to the visitors when their fly half Dale Breakwell put over a snappy drop goal in the 75th minute.

However, the hosts won it with the last kick of the match – a penalty by Rhys’s son Charles from midway between Ilkley’s ten-metre line and halfway.

Morgan senior admitted: “It was a hell of a game, and I was getting a bit of déjà vu with the York game (a 21-20 defeat), where we were playing really well and got clear and then it is penalty, penalty, kick, penalty, penalty and you are then fighting for the ball for 60 minutes.

“We were living off scraps against Cleck and there was a big cheer at the end when some people might say it sounded like we had won the World Cup, but we respect Cleckheaton as a club and a team and that is why it means a lot to us.”

Only six points separated the sides in the bottom half of Regional One North East prior to kick-off, with seventh-placed Doncaster Phoenix and eighth-placed Ilkley on 17 points and basement boys Scunthorpe in 12th on 11 points.

Morgan admitted: “It was very important for us to win in terms of or league position, but Cleckheaton do what they do well. They kick to the corners and rumble from there and (No 8) Dickie Piper leads them superbly.

“If Charles had kicked the one before it wouldn’t have come down to that but he only missed one kick all day, as did Cleckheaton’s Dale Breakwell, and Charles missed three kickable penalties against York.

“There were about three or four times when we could have got away against Cleck but last-ditch tackles just held us back and we just couldn’t get into that flow.

“We struggled a little bit in the tight to start off with but sorted that out and worked so hard at the set-piece and it came down to fine margins.

“I hope Cleckheaton go on to have success, while we move on to the Doncaster Phoenix game and try and pick up some points away from home and not get into that dogfight.”

Two of Ilkley’s three tries came from chips ahead, and Morgan said: “People at this level sometimes kick because they have seen it on the telly or they kick or chip because don’t know what else to do, and if you are kicking when they have a back three or a No 9 sweeping then you are kicking for no purpose.

“But we kicked with purpose at the right time when there was no full back at home or when there was a gap in behind, and then you have got a shot.

“We got two tries from chips, but sometimes it is the bounce of the ball.”

Morgan also felt that improved discipline in terms of not getting any sin-binnings was a factor in victory.

He said: “We have worked so hard on our set-piece, and we need to keep working on that, and we have 20-25 minutes into a game when we are getting rattled and the opposition are pushing hard and we forget what we have been coached.

“The last three weeks we have had 10 yellow cards, which I won’t give my opinion on, but we didn’t get any here, but a 2-1 ratio on penalties in their favour is something that we need to brush up on.

“However, we have a fantastic bunch of lads and we want to stay in this league.”

Ilkley are now seventh ahead of facing Doncaster Phoenix on Saturday, and the Dalesmen are also level with Alnwick, who are a place above them, on 21 points. Phoenix are ninth with 17 points.