Elks fight back to overcome Newark

Greg Taylor  put in a fine display for Ilkeston.
Greg Taylor put in a fine display for Ilkeston.

Ilkeston travelled to Newark for their last fixture before Christmas and recovered from 14-5 down to win at a canter 40-21.

Elks kicked off but it was Newark who made all the early running and having missed an early penalty they then converted one to go 3-0 up after 11 minutes.

Elks responded well and scored their first try when Dan Taylor went over to score on 17 minutes after Jack Partington had been stopped just short of the line. The conversion was missed.

Another Newark penalty put them 6-5 up before extending their lead with a try on 38 minutes not long after Ilkeston’s Matt McGuire had been yellow carded, the hosts making the most of their extra man by scoring after a series of pack and drives, the extras missed.

Elks were glad to see the half-time whistle and get a chance to re-group following a disappointing first half display.

But the second-half began badly when the kick-off was knocked on and Elks were caught offside, the penalty cleanly struck and Newark led 14-5 after 42 minutes.

This finally sparked the Elks into life and they launched several attacks through Greg Taylor and Partington. This time Newark were guilty of too many penalties and their flanker was yellow carded on 50 minutes.

Elks were then ruthless in taking advantage of the extra man when Greg Taylor dummied and went over on 52 minutes, Jono Falls with the extras making it 14-12.

Newark were penalised again and although Jake Lamb’s kick was too long the following Newark kick was returned 30 metres by GregTaylor who then fed Jake Heath to sprint clear and score on 56 minutes, Falls again with the extras making it 14-19.

Elks were straight back on the attack from the kick-off and looking threatening on the left.

Dan Rollins stole a line-out and the ball moved right to Tom Pottinger who made a great break, the ball was recycled and Lamb dummied the defence and shot through to score on 58 minutes, Falls with the extras making it 14-26.

Next it was Partington who made the incisive break and when tackled quick ball was used by Lamb and Greg Taylor, Newark were penalised and quick thinking by Simon Bennett enabled him to tap and go and whilst everyone stood motionless, he ran in unopposed to score under the posts making it 14-33 after 61 minutes, Falls with the extras.

Newark looked shell-shocked having conceded 28 points in 11 minutes but recovered to run in a try on 70 minutes and reduce the arrears to 21-33.

Play was now frantic as both sides ran the ball from anywhere making it great viewing for the crowd.

Elks were to get another chance before the final whistle with Greg Taylor and Partington making a break down the right. The move was carried on by Dan Taylor who was stopped just short of the line, but Dan Hyams arrived in support and he divedthe full metre to score near the posts on 79 minutes, Falls with the extras making it 21-40 at full-time.

This was certainly a game of two halves as Newark dominated the first but the Elks turned it around in the second with some superb back play with all involved.

Any of the backs could have got man-of-the-match but Greg Taylor sparked the initial comeback and was too much for Newark to handle with his power and pace, so he got the vote.

Next game for the Elks is at home on January 3 with a 2.15pm start against Old Northamptonians. who now sit second in the table.