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Lack-lustre Ilkley held to a draw
Old Brodleians 7 Ilkley 7
Ilkley’s stuttering form rumbled on as they drew 7-7 at struggling Old Brodleians in Yorkshire Division One on Saturday.
The match was a stoic encounter throughout, with the 30 minutes setting the theme.
Two hard-working packs cancelled one another out, and on a severely lop-sided pitch, the Ilkley back line found it difficult to gain a foothold in the match.
Indeed, stuttering was the word. A Danny Wood penalty attempt from long range went just wide for the home side, but beside this, there were no real opportunities for either side either in open play, or from the boot.
From nowhere, play seemed to open up on the half hour mark.
Quick ball from Tom Collard and fast, committed rucking sent the Brods defence hurtling backwards, and it was skipper Stuart Vincent who took full advantage, finishing off a slick move.
The returning Mike Cachia made no mistake with the conversion. Having spent so long on terms with the Dalesmen, the Old Brods’ emotions threatened to boil over . A swinging arm in the ruck was missed by the referee before openside flanker Oliver Hawkins was yellow carded for a bone crunching late tackle on Cachia.
Ilkley couldn’t take advantage of their extra man, despite a fine carry by Nick Brook nearly allowing Paul Petchey in at the corner.
The sin bin took the game into half-time with the score at 7-0. With the numbers levelled, it was the Halifax side that took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Wave after wave of attacks heaped pressure on Ilkley, who finally buckled in the 50th minute. Brods scored a try under the posts that was easily converted by Wood.
The game threatened to open up, and with Ilkley’s defence waning, suddenly, it was up to the home side to take the spoils.
On the hour, an indiscretion in the scrum earned Brods a penalty from 30 metres. In what would prove to be a big moment in the match, a poor connection by Wood sliced the ball wide.
A fine tackle by Kris Stafford stopped Ben Holroyd in his tracks, and good work by Charlie Davy, Ollie Renton and Brook stunted any attack from the ruck. A draw was a fair result in the end for two sides that certainly didn’t deserve to lose. The result leaves Ilkley ten points outside the promotion places.