Wharfedale Development 41

Ilkley 2nds 17

WHARFEDALE Development beat close neighbours Ilkley 2nds in the quarter-final of the Aire-Wharfe Cup at the Avenue last Wednesday.

This was the first match of the campaign for Wharfedale, having been given a bye in the first round.

The last time these two teams locked horns was when Ilkley narrowly won at their ground in the semi-finals a few years ago in an epic encounter.

The opening exchanges were a little loose and erratic with mistakes from both sides, but it was Wharfedale who scored first.

The ball was passed out to the left where centre Scott Rogers broke through, commando rolled and then flopped over to score. Jonathan Davies was off target with the extras.

Ilkley responded when a penalty was given away in kicking range. It was off target but the pressure remained and the defence eventually yielded with a close range move from a scrum. The conversion gave Ilkley a 7-5 lead.

Wharfedale came back and soon were in Ilkley’s 22. Will Bell fooled the visiting defence as he broke through the back of the ruck to run in and score. Davies added the extras and the lead was 12-7.

Bell was then penalised for not rolling away and Ilkley reduced the deficit to 12-10.

As the error strewn half drew to a close, Ilkley were on the attack just inside their own half but a turnover was forced and the ball was flung wide to the right to Tom Oakes on the wing, who showed just enough pace to evade a lumbering second row to score in the corner. Davies nailed an excellent touchline conversion and the home side led 19-10 at half-time.

The second half started with mistakes and penalties, as first Ilkley missed a three-point opportunity and then Davies did the same.

A sustained period of pressure in Ilkley’s 22 was nearly thrown away by a horrific cross field kick, but the ball was regathered and play continued.

A suspected knock-on by Jim Bowers was missed by the official and the ball off-loaded to Jack Wells, who crashed over to score to make it 24-10.

A turn of pace by Davies, following a loose ball kicked through deep into the Ilkley 22, put more pressure on the visitors, but Ilkley managed to retain possession and kick clear.

But the ball was fielded by Russ Aldersley, who despite nearing 50, properly 'old-manned' the three chasing Ilkley players.

Back onto the attack in their 22 and No 8 Chris Swainson was put clean through to score. Davies was on target to make it 31-10.

But Ilkley were not finished and camped up in the Wharfedale 22 for a good period of play and eventually crashed over for a try. The conversion was on target to cut the lead to 31-17.

The home side went on to register another two tries, first a driven maul which Jack Kitching scored and Bell rounded off proceedings with try out wide on the right. Davies missed both conversions, but final score was 41-17.