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Ilkley Colts Take A Competitive Win Over Ensians

Otliensians 10 v Ilkley 26

The sun shone at Chaffers Field for the delayed encounter between Ensians (Otley now moved down the road) Colts and Ilkley for the bragging rights of Wharfedale.

The teams are well known to each other having played against each other since they were nippers and many attending the same schools.

The referee was the "Ley's" U17 Ensians coach.  A tough task as he knew many of the players.

Ilkley lost the toss, but were surprisingly asked to play into the wind in the first half.  Early exchanges were inside the Ilkley half with the Ensians very large pack adopting a tight game of one up rugby.  Ilkley's defence was strong and inroads were made with some good counter rucking.  With the ball in hand Ilkley tried to be adventurous, however as is often the case they were trying to force play, when a more conservative approach would have been more appropriate.  Eventually Ilkley received a penalty for persistent infringements and Rahmbo pumped the ball deep into the opposition 22.  Ilkley's lineout was well oiled with Jean Pierre and Jackie G jumping well.  The clean ball enabled good forward rumble ball up to the Ensians line.  The defence was questionable and with penalty advantage Jackie G dived over for a converted try.

Despite being against a much heavier pack Ilkley scrummaged well, with Razzer and Louis Getthrough putting in some hard yards around the pitch, tackling and rucking well.  

Ensians managed to break through a couple of times, however Haircut 100, replacing the surprisingly retired Rocket Rochford, put in a couple of crunching try-saving tackles.

The pressure mounted and Jackie G was given a yellow card for, well, effective jackling.  A tough one to take, but to the sidelines he went.  Ensians took advantage and eventually managed to get over for an unconverted try.

Now back to a full complement Ilkley took the game into the Ensians half and dominated.  Some hard driving by the forwards with legs pumping like pistons produced vital yards.  Fair play to Ensians they did what they could to stave off attack after attack, with some offences being seen on the odd occasion.  Unfortunately Captain Gazeley had to leave the field with a suspected broken hand.  The Team Hairdresser turned ambulance driver and took him to Wharfedale Hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken shellac nail.  Ilkley were not going to be stopped and Goose Ramergé, fresh from his brilliant match winning try on tour last week, chasséd through the depleted defence with aplomb.  Despite being near the posts the conversion into the wind fell short.

Half time was blown and the teams had a chance for a breather after a frantic first 35 minutes. 

The restart saw Ilkley using their heads and Rahmbo had an excellent time, kicking strongly with the wind.  Each kick turned either the fullback or left wing.  Sabre Sabey had his jet boots on and chased down the kicks at high speed.  The defence was in disarray and penalties were conceded.  The kick to the corner brought the inevitable catch and drive.  Ilkley were ambitious going from outside the 22.  The controlled maul was brought down time and again, red zone penalty after red zone penalty.  Nothing more than a penalty was the default decision.  Each time the ball was kicked into the corner with the same result. 

Realising there wasn't going to be a change of heart from the referee, the ball was spun out to the opposite wing.  Matlow Hurst, freshly back from serving King and Country, took a lovely weighted pass from Ramergé.  He sprinted for the corner and touched down.  Buoyed from his Naas Botha at altitude esq open field kicks, Rahmbo sent a sensational kick over from the touchline.  Ilkley were in control.  Play was once again taken into the Ensians 22. 

Despite dominating the rucks, Louis Getthrough was given a yellow card.  A tough pill to swallow for a minor infringement at worst when diving on a ball that had spurted out of a ruck by a few metres.  Ensians pushed Ilkley back into their own half but Rahmbo smashed the ball for a 50:22 and the same process started again. 

Ensians saw their chance only for Ilkley to gain possession of the ball and some controlled rucking brought about a hole for Jean Pierre to dart through.  He reminded his school colleagues of the score.  Rahmbo slotted the extras.

There was still plenty of time to play and Ensians had the numerical advantage.  A collection of penalties took them close to Ilkley's line.  The defence was immense and Razzer paid the price for throwing his body on the line to save a try.  Blood gushed from a wound over his eye.  Headboy Ballard, aka Doogie Howser MD saw the opportunity to gain some early practice prior to attending med school, only to be brushed aside by Dr Clarke.  Razzer had to leave the field, following another great performance, leading from the front.  All this despite fasting.  From the restart Ensians moved the ball wide but again Ilkley showed resilience and broke up the attack.  The Head Boy was called over to the referee and another yellow card was shown for killing the ball.  Ensians took a quick tap as Ilkley tried to reorganise and walked over for an unconverted try.  The match finished shortly afterwards.  

Ilkley were the better team and lets say under different circumstances the scoreline would probably have been much bigger, however a hard fought competitive match was the result, which is just what Ilkley needed. 

There is now a break for Easter and then Ilkley take on West Park the weekend after at Stacks Field.  A victory would take them above them in the league.              


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