Bugbrooke 20 Ilkeston 10
Ilkeston’s four-match winning streak came to an end on Saturday as third-placed Bugbrooke took the points.
Bugbrooke have surprised a few with their good start to the season and again proved their position in the league is no fluke as they out-played the Elks tactically on a very heavy pitch.
Bugbrooke started with the slope advantage and scored after eight minutes from a line out catch and drive which was unconverted.
Elks responded well and had their first visit into the Bugbrooke 22. They forced a penalty when Bugbrooke were caught offside and Jack Partington converted the kick to make it 5-3 after 14 minutes.
Bugbrooke again used the kicking game well and after an Elks knock on they scored from the ensuing scrum, this time converted to make it 12-3 after 23 minutes.
Following several Elks penalties the referee lost patience and yellow carded Chris Tipton after 33 minute. Bugbrooke were soon back on the attack and Elks were penalised at the breakdown, the penalty kicked to stretch the lead to 15-3 after 35 minutes.
Elks had the slope in the second-half and were soon on the attack forcing mistakes from Bugbrooke, however most of the Elks attacks were too far out and they did not have possession in the right areas, while basic mistakes were also halting any real progress.
When the Elks finally got some decent possession in the Bugbrooke 22 it was their turn to concede too many penalties and they had a player yellow carded on 52 minutes.
Elks failed to take advantage of the extra man and Bugbrooke’s defence was solid; Elks were trying hard but the quality was not there when needed.
Bugbrooke launched a counter attack from a long kick and the ball was fed to the right winger who managed to get through three tackles and score after 75 minutes the try converted to make it 20-3 with time running out.
Elks did have the last say in the game when Greg Taylor burst through in midfield and eventually broke clear to score under the posts on 78 minutes, converted by Partington to make the final score 20-10.
The Elks didn’t lack in effort with the back row all working hard but man of the match wentto Matt Watkins who stepped up to play loose head prop when the team were short of front row players. He certainly did himself justice and didn’t look out of place.
Next week sees the visit of Coalville to the Stute and the Elks will be hoping to complete another double after winning away earlier in the season. Kick-off is 2.15pm.