Ilkeston get back to winning ways

Ilkeston RUFC's Russ Garland aims to make progress during the clash at The Stute on Saturday.
Ilkeston RUFC's Russ Garland aims to make progress during the clash at The Stute on Saturday.

The Elks returned to winning ways at The Stute on Saturday when they overcame Leighton Buzzard in fairly convincing fashion.

Midlands One (East)

Ilkeston 28

Leighton Buzzard 6

by Sean Ryan

The Elks returned to winning ways at The Stute on Saturday when they overcame Leighton Buzzard in fairly convincing fashion.

They seem to have discovered some of the drive and urgency missing in recent weeks and also the ability to finish, with four well taken tries from Jono Falls, Lewis Taylor, Joel Haigh and Dan Mahoney.

Yet again injuries had shaped the make up of the side with Josh Meakin making his debut and Jono Falls and Dan Mahoney returing after lomg lay-offs, skipper Corcoran being an addition to the list of those out injured.

Playing into the wind and the slope the Elks were first on the board with a JJ Connolly penalty after good approach work from backs and forwards combined.

They then stretched the lead to 8-0 after ten minutes with a try from Falls. Tom McKelvey won a line-out inside his own half, Mahoney set up a ruck in midfield and Haigh put in a grubber that turned the defence. The bounce evaded full-back Janes and Falls was on hand to scoop up and dive into the corner.

Failure to deal with the restart then gave Leighton Buzzard a penalty and Anstee stepped up to make it 8-3.

That gave the visitors impetus and the Elks endured a testing 15 minutes as they launched wave after wave of attack. The defence held firm until the stroke of half-time when Anstee made it 8-6.

The Elks were grateful for the respite brought by the break but even more grateful for the defensive efforts of brothers Lewis, Dan and Greg Taylor, plus Elliott Gwynne, whose tackle count kept the line intact.

Likewise Ben Gatehouse, replacing the desperately unlucky Falls who was forced to depart on 17 minutes with a recurrence of his hamstring problems.

With the breeze and the slope the home side started with real intent. The scrum, creaking in the first-half, started to function and gain an edge with Gordon Pringle, Marc Moore and Peter Clarke taking the battle to their opposite numbers.

A solid scrum inside the visitors’ 22 provided the ball which bought Greg Taylor into the line to feed his brother Lewis who finished in the corner.

A storming run from Mahoney with Russ Garland available to drive the ball on earned a penalty 16 minutes into the half which Connolly duly slotted to take the score to 16-6.

Adam Stoker then stole a line-out and the forwards mauled over the line for Mahoney to claim a try making it 21-6 with ten minutes left.

Clarke departed to give Meakin his first taste of senior rugby and he did not disappoint as his lift enabled Garland to feed Haigh with quick line out ball off the top.

Haigh attacked the back of the line, sold an outrageous dummy and streaked through close to the posts, Connolly’s conversion leaving the final score at 28-6.

Man of the Match - Dan Mahoney.