Scunthorpe travelled to the Mellish Rugby Club ground in Nottinghamshire with several changes to the team that took the National Midlands 3 title the week before and the resulting defeat shows that Scunthorpe had played their final the week before but Ilkeston had turned up to play their final on the day. The Greens went down by 22 points to 5 with Ilkeston worthy champions.
Following the Vase and Plate Finals, the cup kick-off at 3.30pm and it seemed obvious immediately that the team with the greater intensity was Ilkeston and they duly scored a try within 7 minutes of the start. With the conversion coming from an excellent kick by Steve Quin, giving them a 7 points to nil advantage. With a lively set of threequarters, and the Scunthorpe defence a bit flaky, they looked the side more likely to advance.
The Greens seemed to have trouble in retaining possession in order to install their game plan and put pressure on their opponents. Some of their passing was forced and risky leading to loss of possession and more defending. Even at times of pressure, the necessary composure was not in place in order to capitalise. Ilkeston again made the running as Scunthorpe conceded a penalty on the edge of their ‘22’ which was duly converted to extend their lead to 10 points to nil.
As the first half progressed, The Greens did show more composure and resulting pressure gave the opportunity to move the ball wide to the left where Mike Smith was able to touch down in the corner. A difficult conversion was missed but the deficit was reduced by 10 points to 5 after 35 minutes. Five minutes later the move was repeated and Smith again crossed in the left hand corner, only for the score to be ruled out by the Referee Assistant for a forward pass. Well into added time Ilkeston once more broke out of defence and a cross-field kick was gathered on the left wing for what turned out to be a watershed try. An another excellent conversion by Quinn, sent his side into the interval with a 17 points to 5 advantage.
The first score after the interval would have to be for The Greens if they were going to come back in this match and although they did have their moments in attack, they lacked the final pass to make the score. It was therefore no surprise when Ilkeston got the bounce of the ball through another astute kick to the right wing for a further try. Although Quinn missed the conversion the scoreline of 22 points to 5 was making them favourites for the cup.
Try as Scunthorpe might and none more so than James Dyson and Jake Barron, things would just not go The Greens way and they had to settle for the runner up spot to a deserving Ilkeston side.
Next week ( 2nd May) they play another cup final when they take on Market Rasen in the Lincs Cup Final at Sleaford
Match Report by LWJClayton