Ilkeston 17 Market Rasen 22
The Elks entertained Market Rasen & Louth hoping to return to winning ways, but despite creating a host of chances too many passes were dropped and chances missed as the visitors edged to victory.
Elks made a bright start and slick passing put Isaac Taylor in with a chance to score, but he was forced out over the dead ball line.
Elks had all the early possession but could not score and as has been the script for the season, Market Rasen scored with their first attacking play, as the Elks were penalised and the penalty struck cleanly on 19 minutes to make it 3-0 to the visitors.
The Elks response was swift and following some good forward play Simon Bennett scored after 19 minutes, unconverted to reduce the deficit to 5-3.
Market Rasen then came back and nearly scored in the left corner, but they kept possession and moved the ball right and scored under the posts on 27 minutes, converted to go 10-5 ahead.
But Elks were soon on level terms as a midfield break saw the ball moved out to Isaac Taylor in space and he went over to make it 10-10 with the try again unconverted.
There then followed a key moment in the game when the Elks were on a great attack only to drop the ball and allow Market Rasen to counter attack and score wide on the left, the conversion missed but crucially gave Market Rasen were ahead at half-time 15-10.
Early in the second-half Market Rasen then capitalised on another Elks mistake to score after 57 minutes, and with the extras added they led 22-10 and the Elks were facing a tough last quarter.
Elks were still seeing the lion’s share of the ball but could not execute that final pass to break through,
Elks were camped in the opposition 22 and following a series of penalties by Market Rasen the patience of the referee broke and he sin binned the visitors’ number eight.
Elks kicked to touch and Nick Gray took clean ball, and with the man advantage Elks drove over the line with Bennett emerging with the ball for his second try, converted by Jack Partington to bring Elks within five points after 70 minutes.
Elks tried desperately in the last ten minutes to get the vital score but poor handling was still breaking up play. Market Rasen battled hard to defend their lead and combined with some sloppy Elks play were able to hang on to the end.
Elks have now slipped down to tenth in the table making this weekend’s big local derby away at Matlock a massive challenge.
Man of the match went to Lewis Taylor who played very well at ten and created plenty of chances for the backs which were not taken.