Elks slip to fifth place after surprise defeat

Ilkeston once again slipped up at the home of lowly opposition as Market Rasen & Louth overcame a slow start to claim the points.

The result saw the Elks drop to fifth in the league table, though they continue to have a game in hand on most of those above them in what is a very tight top half of the league.

This was a disappointing result for Ilkeston and yet things had started so well.

Within five minutes they were ahead through a Jono Falls try as Jake Lamb, Greg Taylor and Alex Ayres combined well to put the full back in the clear to score.

Haigh converted and the travelling faithful nodded their approval of a 7-0 lead.

But Market Rasen, not bowing to the script that the league table perhaps dictated, displayed great character to hit back almost immediately with their own well crafted, converted score to leave things all square after seven minutes.

Straight from the re-start good Ilkeston pressure led to a line out on the home side’s 22. A classic catch and drive witnessed scrum half Haigh feed Lamb who glided through a gaping hole in the defence, and a rampaging Greg Taylor arrived right on cue to take the half back’s pass and crash over for the visiting side’s second try. Haigh duly converted and Ilkeston led 14-7 with barely ten minutes on the clock.

Those watching then had to wait until the last play of the half for the next score and unfortunately for The Elks it was Rasen who obliged when they capitalised on a lack of concentration defending the breakdown to score with embarrassing ease under the posts.

The try was converted and the sides reached the half way point all square at 14-14.

The second-half saw an attritional battle as, denied clean and clear possession Ilkeston struggled to impose their authority.

Ilkeston were denied a try on 46 minutes when Dan Taylor was pulled back from being in the clear following a forward pass, but continued Ilkeston pressure led to a penalty which Haigh converted to ease the visitors back into the lead on 52 minutes.

But this advantage was negated less than five minutes later as the home side levelled with a penalty of their own.

Worse was to follow for The Elks on the 66 minute mark as the home side applied pressure of their own and an infringement five metres from the try line led to a line out in the corner that in turn led to a catch and drive try which was unconverted.

A frantic final ten minutes witnessed the hosts grow in confidence, Greg Taylor receive a yellow card for a pretty innocuous offence and The Elks leak a further try which was converted to leave the Market Rasen 27 – 17 victors.

Man-of-the-match: Alex Ayres.