Blaydon RUFC vs ILKLEY RFC, Venue: Crow Trees, Blaydon, Result: Blaydon 50 pts, ILKLEY 17pts
The long trip to North Newcastle was singularly unrewarding for the ILKLEY team and the supporters who had made the journey.
It was a first match ILKLEY had played on the 4G surface this season.
The team showed six changes from the one that had almost beaten table toppers York two weeks ago.
A promising start saw some flowing rugby and Charlie Morgan soon put ILKLEY in front with a penalty goal. 3-0.
Regrettably that was as near as a victory got in this disappointing display.
Ilkley didn’t help themselves with two clearance kicks that failed to make touch and a slew of penalties early on.
Frailties at scrum time and failure to execute the basics didn’t help their cause.
Blaydon responded with a try scored after a high tackle penalty on ILKLEY’s 22. They chose the scrum to win another penalty. Taken quickly, they put winger Kev Slow in for an unconverted try in the corner. 3-5.
This pretty much set the tone for the match.
A driven and converted try from prop Darren Fearn made it 3-12.
Jack Appleton added another from deep. The extras were added. 3-19.
Fifteen minutes gone.
There was a brief interval when the Dalesmen showed their potential.
Charlie Head benefitted from a turnover on Blaydon’s 22 and the quick thinking of Jack Maplesden from a penalty. Head crashed over to make it 10-19 with Morgan’s conversion.
Will Marlow showed great turn of speed and skill as he took a long pass and chipped the last defender to gather and score. Morgan converted. 17-19.
They almost scored again after a great move via Ben Magee, Keiran Wilyman and
Floris van Oekel but a penalty was coughed up.
With 10 minutes to the interval ILKLEY really needed to score again or at least prevent Blaydon stealing a march. Alex Powell went close but the opportunity was frustrated by yet another penalty.
Blaydon cleared to half way. The one lineout they lost all game was miscued but they made up for it, winning a penalty from an ILKLEY scrum. That gave them a lineout on ILKLEY’s 22 and their excellent backs were looking dangerous once again.
A yellow card for obstruction shown to Will Addyman didn’t help and from the resulting lineout Appleton bagged his brace in the corner. 17-24.
A one score game at half time was about as good as the Dalesmen deserved.
van Oekel made way for Peter Erskine whilst Addyman served his time.
The rest of the game was eminently forgettable.
Blaydon were pumped at the Crow’s nest.
They ran in 4 more tries aided and abetted by the generosity of ILKLEY’s propensity to get the wrong side of referee Mr Simon Williams.
Dan Marshall made it 17-29 with a try in the corner after ILKLEY had conceded a free kick.
Josh Pinder and Archie Elgood were called into action, but in truth there was little they could do stop the onslaught.
Kev Slow added another after a driven lineout from a penalty conceded on half way. 17-36.
Try as they did, Ilkley were turning possession over with knock-ons, loose passes and those seemingly inevitable penalties.
Further tries from Appleton and replacement Atticus Mikles, both converted took Blaydon to the half century and the Dalesmen to their heaviest defeat for some time.
Even ILKLEY’s renowned defence let them down, but Wilyman stood out as a defender making some fine tackles without which the score could have been worse. His only blemish was a yellow card late on after a poor finish had frustrated a fine scoring opportunity.
Blaydon’s skipper, latterly of Driffield, Matt Jenkinson was outstanding for his side who thoroughly deserved this comprehensive victory.
The final penalty count was 16 against ILKLEY, 8 against Blaydon - salutary lesson in adhering to the laws.
Some soul searching is urgently required ahead of this week’s home fixture against Cleckheaton who looked to have turned a poor start to the season. Kick-off is 2.15pm.