Elks U13s Development show good cohesion and team spirit and begin to show some determination just before final whistle.
The Development squad made the short journey to Moderns for the return match, and nearly everyone remembered that the clocks had changed! In very good playing conditions, the game was to be four, 15 minute sessions to enable Moderns to give all of their 28 man squad a run out.
The first 2 quarters followed a similar pattern with much broken play and few set pieces. The Ilkeston forwards were outplayed in the loose and whilst they genrally retained their own ball in ruck and maul, Moderns were consistently delivering fast ruck ball on their attack. As a result the Moderns backs got plenty of ball and space. Despite some valiant last ditch tackling by Niall O'Connor and Tom Barker, Moderns ran in 8 unanswered tries , converting four of them.
The third quarter saw the Young Elks forwards finally getting into to the match and there were an increasing number of powerful runs by all the forwards, although the lack of effective support play meant that the impetus was too often lost. Moderns had added a further three unconverted tries before a more aggressive approach to a maul enabled Tom Barker to break free and run in from 20 metres. The extra points were not taken.
The final quarter was the most even, with Ilkeston becoming increasingly effective. There was a massive strike against the head at one scrum with Moderns back pedaling. The tackle of the day came when Robbie Boddington picked up man and ball turning them to present them for the incoming support. Moderns however started to exert increasing pressure and in the final minute managed to get across the line.
The game highlighted the need for all the forwards to up their work rate, Conor Corrigan enjoyed a good game tackling hard and getting a good service away. Liam Flinders did his best Lewis Moody impression all morning flying in to the tackle, whilst Jason Allan showed increasing confidence and leadership on the pitch. Niall O'Connor looked sharp on his return after a long absence.
Final Score: Moderns 54-5 Ilkeston
Man of the Match Tom Barker for his try and all round effort in defence.