Skipton 2nds 12 Ilkley 3rds 36

SKIPTON'S hopes of securing promotion from the Aire-Wharfe Merit table were ended when they were defeated in the play-off quarter-finals on Saturday.

It was the third time this season that they had lost to Ilkley but they put up a good fight.

Skipton's resolute defence kept some early Ilkley attacks at bay before they found their feet.

From a scrum in the Skipton 22, No8 Mark Davison and scrum half Brian Brocksom used the blindside to take play into the opposition half with a chip and chase.

Skipton began to ask questions of the Ilkley defence. Andy Bullock had a try ruled out for a forward pass while Josh Berrey was held up over the line.

Both sides were playing enterprising rugby and the first points came when Ilkley were awarded a penalty for an offence at the breakdown.

Ilkley's scrum half took a quick tap and was able to break the deadlock and the conversion made it 7-0.

Two further tries before half-time saw the lead stretch to 17-0 at the break.

Skipton knew they needed to score early in the second half and this is exactly what they did.

From a line-out they set up a driving maul and got within five metres of the Ilkley line.

Once this was stopped, Skipton recycled the ball and there were eight phases of play before Tom Craven was able to twist and turn his way through the defiant Ilkley defence to score.

Lee Shaw added the conversion and Skipton had clawed back seven points. Skipton had their tails up and quickly added a second try when they again used the driving maul to create a try for flanker Tom Harrison.

That proved to be the last score for Skipton. Ilkley had more gas left in the tank and started to handle impressively.

Alex Bullock made several try-saving tackles but it was inevitable that Ilkley would score again. They added three further tries and two conversions to finish the game as comfortable winners.