Ilkeston 14 Bugbrooke 29
Elks entertained Bugbrooke for their first ever league encounter, but it was to be a game to forget for the hosts as following a poor first-half they fought back in the second but eventually lost 29-14.
The Elks were missing Greg, Dan and Lewis Taylor with Joel Haigh also out through injury, so the team was shuffled around and there was a debut for Isaac Taylor.
Elks made a dreadful start playing uphill when following a knock on at the kick off the defence went missing to allow the centre to stroll through untouched for the first score after only a minute, converted to make it 7-0 to the visitors.
Elks responded well but hesitancy in the defence then allowed the Bugbrooke winger to gather the ball and score, converted, to make it 14-0 after only five minutes.
A penalty extended the lead to 17-0 and from a scrum on 32 minutes they touched down again to go 24-0 up.
Elks’ only real chance in the Bugbrooke 22 came after 37 minutes but poor decision-making lost any chance, this brought the end to a desperate half from the Elks facing a 24 point deficit.
Elks had the slope in the second-half and were looking for some spark to get back into the game.
They soon had good territory and following drives from Ryan Mills and Adam Corcoran the ball was moved right to find Jono Falls in space who sprinted through to gain the Elks’ first score, Falls converting his own try to reduce the arrears to 24-7 after 44 minutes.
Elks gained in confidence and started to look much sharper, their next try coming after Bugbrooke had seen two men yellow carded and the advantage paid off as Falls scored and converted once more to make it 14-24.
Despite the two-man advantage the Elks’ ball handling was letting them down, and once the visitors got back to 15 players the game was soon snuffed out when Bugbrooke pounced on a loose ball from a sloppy Elks scrum and scored in the right corner.
The conversion was missed but time was up with the final score at 14-29.
Bugbrooke started the game much better and were defensively sound, but Elks must be bitterly disappointed with a very poor first-half and although things improved in the second they could still not find the required scores with a two-man advantage.
Man-of-the-match went to Jono Falls.
This weekend sees a trip to Coalville.