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A Confident Win For The Colts

Ilkley Colts vs Bramley Colts - Sunday 17th September - Ilkley 29 Bramley 15

On a sunny Sunday lunchtime Ilkley visited The Warrels, home of Bramley Phoenix Rugby Club.  The ground was in fine fettle, sporting new dugouts for home and away teams.


The Ilkley squad was smaller than usual, due to school games the day before.  They welcomed three new league debutants in Sam Brown, Toby Bedford and Dylan Shinn from the under 17s, all undroppable after sterling performances in the previous week's preseason victory over Keighley.  Three players, Captain Gazeley, Jake Rochford and the Ilkley 12 had played very well in Saturday's 2nd Team friendly against Otliensians.  It was also great to see Ilkley's new prop Jamie Slater down supporting, sending updates to the Director of Rugby Rhys Morgan. 

Referee Rob Horsfield blew to commence proceedings.  It was clear that the Ilkley players had immediately learned from last week's experience and their tackle height reduced, conceding no penalties.  Ilkley worked down to the opposition 22 with quality ruck ball.  Bramley conceded penalties for a combination of offside and handling in the ruck.  A catch and drive off a lineout had debutant Bedford crashing over the line.   No one was more delighted than him.  His broad smile could be seen by those with an easterly view from HMP Leeds.  The conversion was missed.

Ilkley transgressed at the restart presenting the easiest of chances to reduce the scoreline to 3 - 5.  Ilkley maintained dominance in the rucks, but the odd dropped ball stalled progress.  Some controlled ball allowed adventure and Ilkley ran the ball out of their 22.  Captain Gazeley put Headboy Ballard into space.  Buoyed by his recent exam success, he slickly went through the gears out pacing his opposite number.  His running style is to glide effortlessly, hovering over the turf.  He approached the full back and timed his pass to the oncoming Shinn perfectly.  Shinn accelerated and dotted down for the second try under the posts.  The conversion was missed.  Ilkley continued to dominate, once again taking play to the Bramley line. Ilkley's Jean-Pierre Reeve - Taz Dal Molin, with a shock of long blonde tousled curls pounced over the line for another Ilkley try.  The conversion was missed.

The Bramley side came back hard but Ilkley were too street wise.  The referee awarding penalties on a regular basis.  The ball came out to the Ilkley 12 on halfway in the middle of the pitch.  There was a gap in front which he ran though and then sidestepped and accelerated away.  He approached the fullback on the 22, spinning through the loose one armed attempted tackle.  Once over the tryline he ran to go under the posts side stepping a cover defender before Swallow diving under the sticks.  Mr Horsfield was not a fan and warned the Ilkley 12 for showboating.  The conversion was successful.  At 3 -22 Ilkley were in total control.  Unfortunately with a combination of Bramley rolling their sleeves up, changing their tactics to being more physical and Ilkley taking their foot off the gas, the rest of the half was a struggle.  It was disjointed with errant kicks and a lack of clean ball. 

Skirmishes started to appear, along with the first yellow card for Bramley.  The broken play encouraged Barmley and they released their backline and they had a more than useful 13 who was rapid.  An excellent cover tackle from Will Sabey and Ned Pullen resulted in the pair clashing heads.  Unfortunately Pullen failed the HIA and took no further part in the match.

Camped in Ilkley's 22 Bramley crossed the line and finished the half with a try.  

Illkley knew the first score was all important in the second half, however after similar scrappy open play Bramley managed to score their second try.  Almost a carbon copy of their first.  They were well and truly up for it now and the crowd now lubricated gave loud, vocal support.  This was a time to really see the backbone in a team.  Jean-Pierre and Bedford accepted the challenge with alacrity, smashing in tackles and running hard at the defence. 

They were enjoying the challenge.  Ilkley returned to the performance at the start of the match and to a man played with control and fire and will and might.  Bramley continued to give penalties and eventually received another yellow card for more rough house play.  Creative coaching meant the numbers didn't change, however when pointed out they dropped a man.  A catch and drive in the corner set up Jean-Pierre for his second try. 

Bramley turned over the ball from the restart and ran wide.  The attack was snubbed out by a strong tackle by the Ilkley 12.  Frustrated, the Bramley player ran over and punched the tackler on the back of his head as he was not looking.  It was in full view of the referee, coaches and players.  This could have resulted in a 30 man brawl, however credit goes to Mr Horsfield who immediately took control, calming the situation down before handing out the inevitable red card.  He wisely blew full time.  

It was a good bonus point victory for Ilkley away at a potential banana skin fixture.  Plenty of teams will struggle at The Warrels once the pitch becomes heavy and the shire horses take over from the gazelles. 

Ilkley's scrum was a real positive and the line out also went well.  Fred Scott is the new Blackpool Tower.  The kicking game was pants and definitely some work needs to go into it before the next home fixture against Ripon, hopefully on Friday 29th September under lights. 

As ever, please come and support the lads.


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