Unavailability and injuries hit an already-depleted squad hard as the start to the rugby union season by Ilkeston went from bad to worse at Kettering.
Elks could never get to grips with a well-organised, high-riding Kettering side, who were ruthless as they ran in no fewer than 15 tries for a landslide victory of 91-7.
It was Ilkeston’s seventh defeat in eight matches and leaves them next to bottom in Midlands Division One East of the National League.
They rarely saw the ball in the first half when Kettering scored eight tries and led 50-0 at the break. Just one brief chance fell to Harry Walton, but he was halted short of the line.
Elks enjoyed more possession in the second period and even managed a score of their own when Dan Woods pounced on a loose ball around halfway and sprinted clear, with Walton adding the extras. But the hosts still dominated and bagged seven more tries. As further injuries took their toll on Elks, they had to play the last 15 minutes with only 14 men.
One positive was another excellent display by scrum-half Walton, while the three colts who stepped up to play could be proud of their efforts.
This Saturday (2.15 pm), Elks are at home to Leighton Buzzard.