Elks storm into NLD Cup semi-finals

Greg Taylor opened the scoring for Ilkeston.
Greg Taylor opened the scoring for Ilkeston.

Ilkeston are into the semi-finals of the NLD Cup after a 34-22 win at Paviors on Saturday.

Pavs made the better start and had good territory and possession in the Elks 22, before the ball broke loose and Dan Mahoney fed Greg Taylor who outsprinted the defence and went on a 60 metre run to score under the posts after six minutes, Jack Partington adding the extras to make it 7-0 in Ilkeston’s favour.

Pavs were soon back on the attack and putting huge pressure on the young Elks front row and from a line-out Pavs broke left and attacked in midfield, only a great tackle by Alex Ayres stopping a likely score.

Pavs then had an attacking scrum and moved the ball right, Elks were caught off side and Pavs slotted the kick to make it 3-7 after 22 minutes.

Elks responded well from the kick-off with Ayres carrying well. He fed Partington who evaded several would be tacklers and made 30 metres to score, the extras missed making it 3-12 after 27 minutes.

Pavs were seeing plenty of ball up front but the Elks backline looked capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch.

Greg Taylor then made another good break and fed Steve Mahoney, Kartar Soar recycled the ball and moved right and good hands along the back line created an overlap and Jacob Heath finished in style to make it 3-17 after 35 minutes, the conversion missed by Partington with no further scores before the break.

Pavs continued with their forwards working well in the second-half but fell further behind when a Pavs drop out was caught by Greg Taylor and returned with pace. He offloaded to Soar who showed great pace to score under the posts after 50 minutes, Partington adding the extras making it 3-24.

Elks backs were soon on the attack through Greg Taylor and Tom Pottinger, the ball was moved left and Ayres broke through before feeding Partington who rounded the last man and scored his second try, although he missed with the conversion making it 3-29.

Pavs’ only real weapon was their scrum and it paid dividends when following several penalties against the Elks front row the referee awarded a penalty try on 66 minutes, extras added to make it 10-29.

Elks’ response was immediate when a Mahoney turnover was quickly moved wide to find Isaac Taylor in acres of space and he sprinted into the corner unchallenged. Partington missed the extras making it 10-34 after 68 minutes.

Pavs then produced their best rugby of the match combined with the Elks slacking off knowing the tie was won, the hosts scoring two tries in the final eight minutes with one conversion making the final score 22-34.

Apart from the final minutes this was a comfortable victory for the Elks despite some uncomfortable moments for the young front row, as the back line had far too much pace and power for the opposition.

Greg Taylor again played well, along with Ayres, Jake Lamb and the back three, but man of the match went to Partington who has quietly improved all season and had a great all round game along with a brace of tries.

This weeekend sees a stern test for title-chasing Ilkeston as they head to leaders Kettering who still boast a 100 per cent record.