Ilkeston Elks upset the odds to seal NLD Cup glory

A HEAVY 29-0 defeat for Ilkeston Elks.
A HEAVY 29-0 defeat for Ilkeston Elks.
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Elks put in their finest display for two seasons to topple National League Scunthorpe and claim the NLD Cup for the second time in three seasons.

Scunthorpe were first to attack, but solid defence turned over the ball.

Tom Pottinger counter attacked and offloaded to Richard Synott, he made good ground and passed back inside to Joel Haigh who just had the legs to outsprint the defence and score after 8 mins, Haigh then struck a fine conversion to make the score 7-0.

Scunthorpe responded well, but a knock on allowed Greg Taylor to clear, Sam Humphries and Steve Quinn then linked well from a line out but the ball was knocked on.

Ben Wells left the field with a nasty cut to the head and was replaced by Kieran on 18 mins.

Elks were defending stoutly as Scunthorpe looked to move ball widefollowing some powerful; catch and drives from line outs, play was held up when Quinn took another blow to the ribs and was eventually stretchered off being replaced by Dan Rollins after 21 mins.

Elks attacked following the hold up and Scunthorpe were penalised, Haigh took the shot at goal and struck it well to extend the lead to 10-0 after 22 mins.

This seemed to spark Scunthorpe into action and they produced several strong attacks.

The Elks defence was becoming desperate and penalties were mounting up, following another penalty five metres from the Elks line Greg Taylor was sin binned on 27 mins.

Scunthorpe opted to tap and go and drove towards the line, Elks held them up but they recycled and drove again, another penalty was conceded and Chris Tipton was sin binned on 29 mins for tackling a player without the ball.

Scunthorpe opted for the scrum and drove towards the line, Elks held the drive but the ball was moved left and with the Elks down to 13 men acres of space was found on the left enabling Scunthorpe to score after 30 mins. The extras were missed making it 10-5.

Elks defence was outstanding whilst Taylor and Tipton were off as Scunthorpe battered the Elks line but could not get another score.

Elks were now back to 15 and cleared their lines through Haigh following a Scunthorpe knock on.

Elks were struck a further blow when Hyams was penalised and yellow carded for a technical scrum infringement on 39 mins.

Scunthorpe went quick from the penalty and appeared to score in the left corner, Elks had a lucky escape as the touch judge flagged up for a forward pass and the try was disallowed.

Elks had one final attack of the half down the left wing as Richard Synott made 20 metres, he kicked ahead and won the chase to touch down in the corner on the stroke of half time. Haigh added a superb conversion to give the Elks a 17-5 lead at half-time.

Scunthorpe launched the first attack of half, but again the Elks defence was solid with G Taylor and Alex Ayres outstanding in midfield.

Elks attacked from a scrum through Tipton and Scunthorpe were penalised. Jake Lamb kicked to touch and Humphries took good line out ball, as the Scunthorpe defence moved up Lamb kicked to the right corner.

A wicked bounce wrong footed the defence and Andor Benji was on hand to touch down after 47 mins, extras missed making it 22-5.

Elks were straight on the attack from the kick off through Tipton, but the ball was eventually spilt forward and Scunthorpe cleared. Ellis Hallam and Jack Partington were introduced to add some much needed fresh legs to the defensive efforts.

The Elks were playing with great confidence and launched another attack through Jake Smithurst. G. Taylor chipped over the top but the ball was knocked on as the Elks tried to collect the bouncing ball.

Scunthorpe came back, but again were thwarted by excellent defence from Simon Bennett who forced a turnover penalty. Lamb kicked to the corner and the line out was taken by Smithurst, Scunthorpe turned the ball over and cleared to half way.

Elks were still putting up a fantastic defensive effort as Scunthorpe raised their game in attempt to close the gap but the Elks stood firm and held out for a famous victory.

This was undoubtedly the best Elks performance for a good while as the entire squad produced a level of commitment and skill for the whole

80 minutes.