Ilkeston RUFC eventually overcame a spirited Matlock side on Saturday, scoring four tries to get a bonus point.
There was a brace of tries from stand off Jake Lamb, flanked by tries from Dan Taylor and Joel Haigh.
The Elks started strongly but mistakes and penalties were keeping Matlock in the chase. It was not until the half hour mark that Dan Taylor eventually broke through to go under the posts and with an earlier successful penalty from Haigh, put Ilkeston 10-0 up.
But Matlock then scored tries either side of half-time, the second of which converted to see them lead 12-10.
The Elks’ dominant scrum was starting to take its toll on the home pack who eventually conceded a penalty in front of the sticks to give Haigh an easy conversion, but the restart saw the Elks penalised and the penalty cancelled out to bring the score to 15-13 in favour of the home side.
The Elks took control late on from a series of broken plays and punished Matlock three times in succession, Lamb under the stick twice and Haigh out wide – all converted to finish the scoring at 37-15 to Ilkeston.
The Elks can take heart in that the determination and doggedness missing in recent performances was back. Cutting out unforced errors, combined with improved decision making and the punishing nature of their ruthless open play, when combined make them a very potent side and could yet see them finish the season strongly.
Ilkeston host Newark on Saturday at 3pm.