Elks suffer semi-final heartbreak at Paviors

Ilkeston’s hopes of reaching their first ever NLD Cup final were ended on Saturday as hosts Paviors ran out 26-15 winners in the semi-final.

The result put the hosts top of the league with just four games to play and was the second crucial victory in two games following the success at Matlock the week before.

Paviors were much quicker out the blocks and dominated the early play, resulting in a pushover try after five minutes which was unconverted.

Elks worked their way back in the game but mistakes were being made and they kept losing any real momentum, although following good play and having moved the ball right, this was knocked on by the hosts and the referee deemed it deliberate and sin binned the Paviors player.

Elks used the numerical advantage well and were camped in the Paviors 22 where the ball was moved left and then right and Greg Taylor burst through to score on 23 minutes, the conversion missed to level the scores at 5-5.

Paviors regained the lead when, from a scrum, their number eight picked up and drove over to score on 36 minutes; this was converted to make it 12-5, a lead they held until half-time despite having another player sin-binned, this time for side entry, a minute before the break.

Ilkeston registered their next try early in the second-half.

Greg Taylor counter attacked and Paviors were penalised for side entry. Jonathan Down took clean ball at the line out and the ball was moved right where Greg Taylor timed his run perfectly and had enough strength to force his way over despite two tacklers.

The conversion was missed to make it 12-10 after 48 minutes.

Ilkeston’s Josh Meakin was sin-binned after a scrum collapsed on 52 minutes but Ilkeston defied this to take the lead on 55.

The ball arrived at Jack Townsend in his own 22 and he linked superbly with Greg Taylor to work down the blindside. The ball was finally passed back to Townsend to score on 55 minutes, and this was unconverted to give the Elks the lead for the first time in the game at 12-15.

But Paviors were to fight back and claim victory.

Greg Taylor was sin-binned on 67 minutes and immediately Paviors scored a converted penalty try, and then drove over again on the stroke of full-time to seal the deserve victory.

Greg Taylor got the nod for Man of the Match.

Ilkeston face a crucial league clash away at third-placed Peterborough Lions on Saturday as they continue their title push.