Saturday, April 16, 2011
Midlands One East
ILKESTON’S hopes of a play-off place ended on Saturday as despite winning their final match of the season, results elsewhere saw them miss out on second spot.
But they nevertheless ended the campaign in style with an excellent win over Spalding in which they ran in seven tries.
As so often this season the back row of Steve Quinn, Adam Corcoran and Beau Carney were the difference between the two sides, constantly on hand to win at the breakdown, make telling tackles and act as link to keep play flowing.
Carney’s non-stop display earned him the man-of-the-match award.
The Elks opened the scoring with barely six minutes gone. A poor clearance kick was fielded by Ellis Hallam who countered and earned a scrum inside the visitors’ 22. The ball was moved to midfield where Carney provided the link and put Lewis Taylor into the corner.
Spalding’s response was immediate when from a line out, Hankinson spotted space out wide and stroked the ball into the hands of Steels whose pace took him outside the defence and into the corner to make it 5-5.
From the re-start the Elks reclaimed the lead with a converted try from JJ Connolly. Ben Gatehouse claimed the ball and linked with Quinn and Carney to take play close to the Spalding line.
Quick ball from the ruck was delivered by Joel Haigh to Connolly who skipped through a disorganised defence to score close to make it 12-5.
Spalding reduced the arrears when Hankinson was successful with a penalty from 40 metres, and a minute later the visitors took the lead when they broke from their own half and Steels scored his second try in the corner.
Connolly immediately regained the lead with a penalty following good work from Carney.
It was extended on 25 minutes when Greg Taylor, Gatehouse, Hallam and Dan Taylor combined from deep to earn a line out close to the Spalding line. Quinn secured the throw and the ball was mauled over the line for Corcoran to claim the score, extending the lead to 20-13.
As the half closed Haigh broke from deep and linked with Simon Bennett, Graham Chenoweth and Marc Moore to earn a penalty which Connolly slotted to leave it 23-13 at half-time.
The fourth and bonus point try was secured straight from the kick-off for the second-half. Bennett secured the line out ball and swift hands fed it wide for Lewis Taylor to score his second try and stretch the lead to 28-13.
The next score came when Dan Taylor fed Quinn who danced his way through despairing tackles to score close to the posts. Connolly’s conversion made it 35-13.
From the re-start, Hankinson kicked a penalty from 30 metres after an offence at the breakdown.
As the game entered the last quarter the Elks registered again when Greg Taylor’s quick tap penalty released Quinn who went on to score his second try and make it 40-13.
The final score came from a line out when Moore found Adam Stoker and as the forwards drove towards the line, Corcoran peeled off the maul and touched down for his second try.
This was the result the Elks needed but events elsewhere denied them the sought after play-off spot as Mansfield’s victory over Paviors enabled them to claim it, but Ilkeston have still achieved their highest ever league placing and have the Derbyshire Cup Final against Derby at Glossop on Easter Monday to look forward to, kick-off 3pm.
Classic Drinks Man of the Match – Beau Carney.