Ilkeston RUFC 55
Both Wingers bagged a brace of tries in a fine display of trademark open running rugby from the Elks, despite the slippery conditions.
Fears of a waterlogged pitch at the Stute following several heavy downpours during the week were realised and the game was moved to the 2nd XV pitch, which gave an unusual feel to the 1st XV fixture.
The Elks got the game underway and it wasn’t long before Joel Haigh got the scoreboard, moving with a pick up from the base of the scrum just outside the Peterborough 22m where the defence bought his dummy, allowing him to crash over for the first unconverted try of the afternoon.
Jack Partington was next up when a Peterborough kick was returned with interest by Isaac Taylor who was stopped short and popped off to Partington for a second converted try to make it 12-0.
Shortly afterwards Tom Pottinger ghosted over in the corner after the ball was spun first right then left from a midfield scrum, with some great handling across the back line, unconverted to make it 17-0.
Pottinger crossed again with almost a carbon copy of his previous try as the ball was spun far right and then back left for his second try of the game and Haigh duly added the extras to bring the score line up to 24-0. This remained the score through to half time.
The next score came when Nick Gray stole a line-out and spun the ball wide right again allowing Isaac Taylor to go over in the corner, unconverted to make it 29-0.
Isaac Taylor went over again shortly afterwards from a right hand scrum on the Peterborough 22m, Haigh converting to make it 41-0.
Peterborough pulled a try back following a scrum but Ilkeston soon extended their lead when after a penalty was kicked to the corner, the pack drove over allowing Matthew Watkins to ground the ball and Haigh converted to make it 48-5.
The Elks then added another when Alex Ayres’ probing kick caused problems and from a scrum full-back Jacob Heath went over in the corner to make it 53-5, the try unconverted.
The Elks then pressured again from the re-start and got their due reward for all the sustained pressure when Greg Taylor went over under sticksfor the final score of the afternoon, but the conversion was missed leaving the score 58-5.
As you would expect with the scoreline, there were many nominations for this week’s Man of the Match award, but for his all round display of quality rugby including dominating the lineout, Nick Gray takes the spoils.
This Saturday (18th) Ilkeston travel away to face Northamptonshire side Bugbrooke.