Ilkeston maintained their strong position in Midlands One (East) with a comfortable 34-15 victory over Towcestrians at The Stute on Saturday.
The result keeps the Elks a point behind leaders Peterborough Lions and with a game in hand, meaning promotion remains a very real possibility in this campaign.
Elks kicked off with the slope in their favour but despite a bright opening from the hosts it was Towcester who had the first opportunity with a penalty which was missed ten minutes in.
Ilkeston took the lead on 17 minutes when, following several phases of play, they recycled well and Lewis Taylor made a great break before quick hands put Ryan Mills in the clear and he crashed over on 17 minutes, well converted by Joel Haigh to give the Elks a 7-0 lead.
Haigh converted a penalty following a high tackle and y ellow card on 28 minutes, before Ilkeston took full advantage of the extra man and launched wave after wave of attacks, some great handling on the right putting Jono Falls in to score unconverted on 33 minutes, 15-0.
Elks were soon back in the Towcester 22 and after winning a line-out they attacked again on the left, Alex Ayres making a lovely break and feeding Greg Taylor who showed great strength to burst through and score on 38 minutes, converted by Haigh to make it 22-0 at half-time.
Towcester then showed why they have been in good recent form and were soon in the Elks’ 22 early in the second-half, a line-out driven over to score on 45 minutes for 22-5.
Elks responded immediately and after several phases Haigh burst through to score and convert his own try on 48 minutes to make it 29-5.
Greg Taylor then added his second try on 52 minutes after good work by Steve Quinn, though the conversion was missed.
Towcester forced their way over again on 58 minutes to make it 34-10 and soon added further points when Elks were penalised in midfield and Towcester took a quick tap and made good ground down the left. This was recycled well and the ball moved quickly for them to score in the corner, unconverted, to leave the final score at 34-15.
Despite losing the second-half, the first-half performance was a dominant one and won thegame.
The forwards put in a sterling display and allowed the backs to have some good quality ball.
There were many fine displays but from a great back row effort Steve Quinn got the nod for man-of-the-match.
Next up, weather permitting, is the re-arranged fixture against Market Bosworth this Saturday with a 2.15pm kick-off at The Stute.