Huntingdon & District 22
Ilkeston and Huntingdon had to share the spoils on Saturday as they battled out for a draw at the Stute.
Playing against the win in the first-half, the visitors soon made life difficult for themselves with unforced errors and it was from these errors that led to the Elks’ first score.
A Huntingdon scrum was knocked on at the base on halfway. From the resultant scrum Ilkeston drove the ball into touch deep in Huntingdon’s 22. A not straight at the line out led to an Ilkeston scrum and from a simple back move, weak tackling in the midfield allowed Greg Taylor to score under the posts, with a simple conversion added by Joel Haigh.
A Haigh penalty then soon extended the lead to 10-0 shortly afterwards.
Huntingdon then found their feet and earned their first score when from a penalty that was kicked into touch, the line-out was won and Richard Smith went over to score, the conversion missed.
Ilkeston soon began to get the upper hand and with Huntingdon falling foul of the referee’s inconsistency at the break down the penalties soon began to mount.
Ilkeston took full advantage of a Huntingdon player being sent to the sin bin to score their second try of the afternoon through Adam Corcoran that was duly converted by Haigh to give Ilkeston a 17-5 lead.
But Huntingdon would have the final say before half-time as once again Smith barged through to score his second try, this time converted by Dan Malem for a score of 17-12 at the break.
A scrappy start to the second-half saw the Elks unable to add to their lead, indeed a Malem penalty soon reduced it.
But the Elks were soon camped in the opposition half once again and after Malem was caught in possession, Reuben Elley was able to go over for an unconverted try that put Ilkeston 22-15 ahead.
But it would be a bizarre try that got the visitors level and earned them a share of the spoils.
An Ilkeston kick was charged down and then fly-hacked on, before Ilkeston attempted to clear by kicking the ball dead under their own posts, only for the ball to hit the crossbar, bounce back down over the heads of all present but then bounce forward over the line where Paul Julian pounced on it to score.
Malem converted for 22-22.
A late Ilkeston rally proved fruitless as the draw was played out, ultimately a fair result despite the unlucky nature of Huntingdon’s final try.
Ilkeston hostMansfield at the Stute on Saturday with a 3pm start.