Ilkeston RUFC defeated local rivals Derby 25-5 at The Stute on Saturday to move one step closer to an elusive NLD cup final spot.
Both teams started slowly in this quarter-final clash as play was concentrated around half way and the defences were on top early on.
Ryan Mills was then yellow carded for an illegal challenge on 29 minutes but this finally spurred the Elks into action, as Jake Lamb and Hugh Smith worked together well to carry play into the Derby half.
The Elks were recycling and attacking well and the opening score finally arrived on 36 minutes when Matt McGuire was driven over with Joel Haigh converting to make it 7-0.
And they were to extend the lead before the break. The Elks scrummaged strongly and put Derby on the back foot. The loose ball was pounced on by Haigh and fed to Lamb who put Jono Falls in on the stroke of half-time for an unconverted try to leave Ilkeston 12-0 up at half-time.
Derby returned after a lengthy break in the changing room and immediately went on the attack.
Good handling on the right put the winger in and he sprinted clear to score on 42 minutes - the conversion missed to make it 12-5.
After Derby had then been penalised at a scrum for not binding, the kick for goal was turned down for a line-out.
This was well caught and driven over but judged to have been held up. The ensuing scrum was driven forward and Haigh took the ball and sped over on 42 minutes - conversion missed to make it 17-5.
Ill discipline from Derby then saw a decision reversed and a penalty awarded to Ilkeston right in front of the post from where Haigh kicked an easy three points on 65 minutes to extend the lead to 20-5.
Elks then finished on a high when following good scrummage work, quick hands worked the ball right and a sumptuous side step from Ben Wells brought the crowd to its feet as he quickly fed Greg Taylor to finish off the move on 78 minutes which was unconverted to leave the final score 25-5.
Man of the Match went to Greg Taylor for some strong defence and great attacking when given the space.
This was another solid performance from the squad, with Joel Clay making his debut and Dan Rollins, Tom Pottinger, Simon Hallam, Jack Townsend and Hugh Smith all making valuable contributions, showing the Elks’ squad now looks to have some genuine depth to it.
It’s a return to league action at the Stute this weekend as Kettering pay a visit on Saturday in Midlands One East, kick-off 2.15pm.