Ilkeston RUFC survive fightback against Huntingdon to maintain perfect home record

Ilkeston v Huntingdon.  Isaac Taylor.
Ilkeston v Huntingdon. Isaac Taylor.

Ilkeston maintained their unbeaten home record following a gritty 23-19 win over Huntingdon.

Elks kicked off with the slope but defences were on top for the opening 10 mins, with both sides exchanging penalties to leave the game tied at 3-3 after 14 mins.

Ilkeston v Huntingdon. Tom Southall.

Ilkeston v Huntingdon. Tom Southall.

Elks got the first try when the ball was recycled and moved quickly right to find Isaac Taylor in space to go over for the first try after 19 mins to lead 8-3.

The home side were now enjoying a dominant period and, from a line out caught by Steve Quinn, attacked through the backs.

Greg Taylor dummied the rushing defence and ran in under the posts, with the extras added by Falls to stretch the lead to 15-3 after 24 mins.

It continued to be all Elks as they attacked again through I. Taylor on the right.

He fed Chris Tipton who carried on the move, Tipton offloaded to Jacob Heath to run through and score on 32 mins to stretch the lead to 20-3.

This sparked Huntingdon into an immediate response and from an Elks penalty they kicked deep into the Elks 22.

The line out was taken and the ball moved into midfield, their centre broke through and scored on 36 mins, extras added to make it 20-10.

Huntingdon grew in confidence from this score and started to win collisions at the breakdown.

Elks were penalised just before half-time and Huntingdon opted for goal. This was cleanly struck to reduce the lead to 20-13 at half time.

Ilkeston slotted over a penalty from Fall at the start of the second half to make it 23-13.

Both sides were battling hard for ascendency but defences were staying strong, Tom Pottinger replaced Tom Southall. Play was mainly concentrated between the Huntingdon were stepping up the work rate and making ground down the slope, but the Elks defence stayed strong with Adam Corcoran halting several attacks.

Elks halted another attack, this time illegally and Huntingdon took the shot at goal to reduce the deficit to 23-16 after 58 mins.

Elks supporters were starting to get nervous seeing a 20-3 lead disappear and Huntingdon playing well down the slope.

Penalties were still costing the Elks dearly and, following a high tackle Huntingdon had a kickable penalty.

This was slotted over to make it 23-19 after 68 mins.

The final 10 minutes were frantic and littered with mistakes as Huntingdon saw a chance for victory.

But the Elks, despite not creating many more chances, were able to close out the game for a very hard earned victory.