Aire-Wharfe Cup - 2nd Round
Skipton 7 : 15 Ilkley 2nds
by Simon Smith
A strong Ilkley second string put Skipton out of the Aire-Wharfe cup with the home side's first defeat in 13 games following a closely contested encounter at Sandylands.
Despite a strong start by Ilkley, Skipton had plenty of possession in the opening 15 minutes with a well placed kick from full-back Matty Langstaff putting the home side down field. A break from outside centre Hamish Munro put inside centre Jamie Donnelly clear but he was brought down and Ilkley countered with a kick and chase to Skipton's line, where only a knock-on denied them a try. A rolling maul from the line-out put the Ilkley back line away for an opening unconverted try.
Tremendous forward work from second row Harry MacEneaney, strong running by Donnelly and incisive kicking by winger Jack McLeod pinned Ilkley back but the visitors again countered with a kick and chase and a deliberate knock-on gave them a penalty kick into the corner. From the line-out they used the rolling maul to good effect again to go over for their second unconverted try and the sides turned round at 10 nil in the visitors' favour.
Following early exchanges in the second-half, a penalty to Skipton gave them a kick into the corner and from a break by winger Josh Smith the ball was re-cycled back across the field to Langstaff but the home side just couldn't cross the try line. Yet another rolling maul from a line-out close in gave Ilkley their third try, again unconverted, to establish a 15 nil lead.
Tremendous defence by Skipton prevented any further score by Ilkley and in the last two minutes of the game Number 8 Ben Hall went over for Skipton from a forward drive under the posts following a tap penalty 25 yards out. Langstaff added the conversion on the stroke of full-time to give a final score of 15-7 in the visitors favour.
Updated 11:14 - 13 Apr 2016 by Tracy Murray