Acting skipper McKenzie scores three tries as Ilkley close in on leaders

Wharfedale Observer: Iain Mckenzie scored three tries Picture: ruggerpix.com Iain Mckenzie scored three tries Picture: ruggerpix.com

Ilkley 20 Bridlington 13

Acting skipper Iain McKenzie scored three tries as Ilkley defeated a strong Bridlington side to move to within a point of Yorkshire Division One leaders Huddersfield YMCA.

Althougn they fielded their strongest pack of the year Ilkley had to draft in second team captain Pete Shanks at centre to partner Craig Barker while Danny Whitelaw made his debut on the right wing.

The visitors deservedly took the lead after a patch of concerted pressure eventually prised open Ilkley's defence and the hosts were under constant threat from a wily Bridlington back-line.

The 7-0 lead was eventually cut when a classic catch and drive saw stand-in skipper Iain McKenzie get the touch-down a little too far out for Mike Cacchia's conversion attempt. .

The second half saw Ilkley's forwards begin to wear down their opposition, starving the visitors' backs of decent possession.

Ilkley's makeshift back-line began to trouble the visitors' defence and penalties were conceded with regularity.

Stand off Mike Cacchia's excellent kicking and his astute reading of the game were the key factors in Ilkley's scoring two further tries via text-book driving mauls, each claimed by the home side's top scorer of the season, McKenzie.

Cacchia's conversion of one, plus a penalty conceded with the Bridlington backs several yards offside gave the hosts a 20-10 lead.

Bridlington earned a well-deserved bonus point when Jon Hutchinson's adjudged high tackle resulted with his spending the last seven minutes in the bin and Bridlington electing to go for goal to get just that point.

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