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Expect plenty of twists and turns on the promotion run-in
Ilkley are hoping that the wet and windy weather won’t blow them off course when it comes to gaining promotion and winning the Yorkshire Shield.
The Stack’s Field men should have been playing their Shield semi-final at home to West Leeds on Saturday.
But that has been postponed (it is now pencilled in for Saturday, March 15) as priority is given to last weekend’s re-arranged SSE Yorkshire Division One match at Pontefract.
Ilkley’s coach Rhys Morgan said: “We don’t want to lose momentum by having matches called off.
“Keighley have put the pressure on Pontefract by winning at Acklam last weekend, and now only trail them by two points, but we are taking nothing for granted this weekend.
“Pontefract have run Doncaster Phoenix and Wath close at their place and have beaten Selby.”
Although Phoenix trail leaders Dinnington by seven points (78 v 71), Ilkley, who are on 73 points, are still in a three-way fight for promotion.
Morgan added: “We still have to go to Dinnington and Doncaster Phoenix, and I am sure there will be some twists and turns before the season is over.
“We don’t want to pick up a lot of injuries as the run-in going to be intensive.”
Back this weekend for the Dales-men is fly half Josh Kimber after being ruled out due to injury last weekend.
Morgan said: “Josh has been a revelation for us this season and was recommended to us by our fly half from last season, Mike Cacchia.
“There are rumours that Pontefract are going to bring in Craig Field, and possibly one or two others, so we will have to see. The deadline for registrations is February 28.”
Kimber’s availability could mean that Tom Collard will move into the centres in the absence of Alistair Monks.
Ilkley’s chairman of rugby Tom Gillon is calling this season’s Yorkshire Division One “the best ever”.
He said: “I know it has not been going that long, but it has been going long enough.
“There really are no easy games in this division, and if we are going to get promotion we will certainly have to earn it.
“Pontefract are a very physical side, and if we don’t get on top of them early on, it will be a stale first half.
“They like to grind sides down and they are always difficult to beat at their place, although we tend to win when we play them at home.”
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