Ilkeston secured a dramatic 23-22 win at Bugbrooke thanks to a late conversion.
The visitors slotted over a vital kick on 76 minutes to complete an impressive win after they had trailed early in the game and at half-time.
Debuts were given to Richard Synnott, Max Hodson and Sean Gordon as unavailability led to many changes from last week’s team.
Bugbrooke were first to make good ground and, following a break down the middle, they recycled and moved the ball left to score. The extras added to make it 7-0 after five minutes.
But the Elks responsed well and, after winning a ball against the head, Alex Ayres burst through the middle.
He was hauled down but the ball was recycled and Tom Pottinger was on hand to score. The extras were missed making it 7-5 after 10 minutes.
The Elks were soon back on the attack from a line out, but the ball was knocked on during a promising attack.
Bugbrooke cleared but Elks went back on the attack and a kick to the right corner bounced well for the Elks and Pottinger was on hand again to score his second try. Andor Benji converted well from out wide to give Elks a 12-7 lead after 19 minutes.
It was Bugbrooke’s turn to respond well and they attacked through the forwardss to score after 25 minutes and level the game at 12-12.
Bugbrooke finished the half well with their forwards putting huge pressure on the Elks scrum.
After a third penalty against the Elks the referee awarded a penalty try and the easy conversion was added making it 19-12 at half-time.
From the kick off Chris Tipton caught well and Elks attacked, a scuffle broke out on the floor and the referee produced a yellow card for a Bugbrooke prop following a punch.
Elks took full advantage of the extra man and launched several attacks, play was moved right and then left and Richard Synnott finished off a great move to score in the corner. The extras missed making it 19-17 after 48 minutes.
Bugbrooke responded with an attack down the left, which Elks defended well and Sean Gordon turned over a Bugbrooke attack allowing Elks to clear.
Elks hit the front on 58 minutes when Benji slotted a penalty over to make it 20-19.
The game was played as the score suggested with defences strong and neither side being able to dominate.
Bugbrooke missed a kick to take the lead on 70 minutes, before they slotted over a kick on 74 minutes to go ahead 22-20.
But Ilkeston showed what they are made off as they went ahead just two minutes later through another Benji penalty.