Ilkeston made it three wins out of three to overcome newly-promoted Market Bosworth on Saturday and maintain the early lead in Midlands One (East)
Sunny weather again greeted the players and the visitors opened with vigour, though Market Bosworth were defending well early on.
But the Elks then found their feet and opened the scoring 15 minutes in. Following a line-out, Joel Haigh picked up a loose ball before beating three men and passing to Greg Taylor who went over, Jono Falls converting.
Market Bosworth responded well and drove deep into the Elks’ 22 where Dan Taylor was yellow carded for a ruck infringement on 22 minutes. The extra man allowed the hosts to use their line out and driving maul to eventually force their way over for an unconverted try after 25 minutes.
There then followed a series of Elks attacks which were halted on three occasions by Bosworth players not rolling away from the tackle area, eventually resulting in one being yellow carded and a kickable penalty being missed by Falls.
But Ilkeston were to register again before half-time. They won a scrum and the ball was quickly moved left where great handling allowed space for Falls to go over unconverted. Half-time, 5-12.
The early stages of the second-half saw Bosworth have their best period of the match, and good play in midfield followed by great strength from the second row allowed them to score a converted try to level the scores on 45 minutes.
Both teams then shared possession but neither could make that important break, as some great tackling, especially by Lewis Taylor, kept Bosworth out.
But the hosts then had a series of attacks and following a move to the right, good handling put the centre in to score on 65 minutes giving them the lead for the first time.
The Elks then stepped up their efforts and following a break by Greg Taylor and then Lewis Taylor, the ball was moved quickly with great recycling involving backs and forwards allowing Matt McGuire to score under the posts to allow an easy conversion by Falls on 72 minutes.
Bosworth were caught offside from the kick-off and Elks soon went on the attack. Similarly to the previous try, great hands involving forwards and backs allowed Falls to crash over on 75 minutes, unconverted.
And Ilkeston weren’t finished there, as a huge clearance kick by Jake Lamb was pursued by several players and Lamb eventually won the chase and touched down on 77 minutes, again converted by Falls.
Bosworth chased the game and drove over for an unconverted try with two minutes of normal play remaining, but Ilkeston were to hold on for victory.
Man of the match - Stephen Fowkes.