Ilkley 33 v Harrogate Pirates 39
Pirates Continue winning ways in league
Pirates travelled away to Ilkley looking to get back to winning ways after a defeat to a very good Knaresborough 1's side in the cup last week. Hopes were dealt a blow during the warm up when Ben Kernoghan pulled out due to a rib injury; Stevie Beckett stood up and moved into the Hookers role for the game. Ilkley playing their first game of the season came out up for the game and the first 15 mins was very closely contested, first point though went to the Pirates with Ivan Kicking 2 penalties on 17 & 19 minutes. Ilkley used their big pack runners around the edge of the rucks to good effect which made space for their back to use a scissors move to cut back in for a try on min 22 which they converted score 7-6 to the home team.
Pirates struck back with a try from Cal MacKinnon on 25 mins which Ivan Drane converted score 7-13. Ilkey then scored two unanswered tries on min 31 & 39 the first of which was converted to leave the score at 19-13 to the hosts going into half time, or so everyone thought, on the stroke of half time Sam Gibbs chased down a kick through to score which Ivan Drane duly converted to put the Pirates ahead 19-20 at the break.
2nd half began much the same as the first half with defences on both sides being tested; stalemate was broken on 50 mins when Jordan Harrison went over for the Pirates with Ivan Drane converting to give Pirates a 19-27 lead. Sky Mckeon then followed up with a try on min 55 to give the Pirates the try bonus point, and with a conversion from Ivan Drane score now stood at Ilkley 19 Pirates 34. Ilkley were not finished and on 66 mins got a converted try to get their try bonus point to bring the score back to 26-34. The game was still too close to call at this point with the Pirates defence working hard to keep out a determined Ilkley back line, the next score came on 75 mins and went to Sam Gibbs of the Pirates and with Ivan unable to convert it left the score 26-39 in favour of the Pirates, Ilkley were still not done and with the last play of the game they scored and converted a try to leave it 33-39 to the Pirates at full time.
Jon Wiggins, Pirates Manager said after the game, “Overall it was a great game of rugby to watch played in the true spirit of the game it was a hard fought victory for the Pirates against a very good Ilkley side who should do well in our league. A few things to work on for the Pirates but a good overall performance by the pack that had to deal with not having a hooker for the game (Stevie B had a great game standing in) and by a much changed back line from the previous weeks. It was a well-deserved 5 point win for the Pirates and a well-deserved 2 bonus points for Ilkley. Man of the Match went to Dorian ENNEQUIN for an overall good solid performance both on the wing and slotting into full back when required. Looking forward to hosting Ilkley at Station View in the New Year.”