Victory keeps Elks in play-off position

Dan Taylor scored two tries.
Dan Taylor scored two tries.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Midlands One East

COALVILLE 28

ILKESTON 37

ILKESTON maintained their grip on second spot with a vital win at Coalville on Saturday.

The arrival of spring, bringing a firm pitch and a little sunshine, brought the best out of these 2 sides in a pulsating encounter which provided five tries for each side and entertained an appreciative crowd.

The opening exchanges set the tone for the game. It was clear that both sides were relieved that the mud of previous weeks had gone and eager to release their backs at every opportunity.

With pace in abundance a high try count was always on the cards and so it proved.

With the game sweeping from end to end it took ten minutes before the opening score. Baeu Carney claimed the ball from a Coalville 22 drop out and set Lewis Taylor on a weaving run to earn a penalty in front of the posts which JJ Connolly stroked over to give the Elks a 3-0 lead.

But as the visitors were establishing a slight advantage Coalville showed that anything less than 100 per cent concentration and application would be punished. The home side stole an Elks line out throw on half way and Moretta, White and Richmond combined to put Twigg over to make it 5-3 to the hosts after 19 minutes.

Connolly restored the lead when Coalville were penalised at the restart, and on 26 minutes Dan Taylor broke through midfield, raced clear, drew the full-back and delivered a perfectly timed pass to give Ben Gatehouse a clear run to the line. Connolly converted to take the score to 13-5 in Ilkeston’s favour.

Coalville came straight back with a converted try. Chamberlain picked up from a scrum on half way, fed Twigg who sped into space and put Richmond over. Partridge converted putting them within a point at 12-13.

Twigg and Richmond then combined five minutes later to give Coalville the lead for the first time at 17-13.

It did not take long for the Elks to respond and were back in the lead four minutes later.

Dan Taylor again broke from deep and play swung across the pitch and back again with forwards and backs combining to put Pete Smith over in the corner. Connolly’s touchline conversion made it 17-20 to the Elks at half-time.

With the half barely five minutes old Dan Taylor fashioned the next score. He opened the home defence and found brother Lewis in support. The ball was taken on by Wallace and Moore and from a quick ruck Connolly dummied his way into the corner to stretch the lead to 17-25.

From the restart Steve Quinn’s powerful running created space for Falls and he fed Dan Taylor who changed gear and dashed away from the chasing tacklers to score.

As the pace of the game began to take its toll the visitors’ scrum assumed total command and Coalville were then penalised giving Connolly a simple chance to increase the lead to 17-33.

The next score came courtesy of Smith’s break out of his own 22. His run was halted close to Coalville’s line but the Elks were not to be denied and from a five-metre scrum the ball was moved to midfield where Dan Taylor again found space and claimed his second try to take the score to 17-38.

Bennett was sin-binned late on and despite Coalville scoring two tries through Argyle and White the Elks managed to hang on to claim a 27-38 victory with a bonus point, keeping them in second-place and well set for their next game against fifth-placed Paviors at the Stute on March 26.

Classic Drinks man-of-the-match – Dan Taylor.