Morgan looks forward to testing times for Ilkley

Wharfedale Observer: Coach Rhys Morgan Coach Rhys Morgan

Ilkley now know just how tough a test awaits them in North East Division One after the publication of the 2014-15 fixtures.

The Dalesmen will start their season with a visit to Pocklington on September 6 and they will also round off their campaign at home to the East Yorkshire side.

Ilkley, who won the Yorkshire Division One title and Yorkshire Shield last season, will entertain Percy Park in their first home game on September 13.

One of the most attractive fixtures for Ilkley will be the visit of Bradford & Bingley to Stacks Field on November 1. The return is at Wagon Lane on February 28.

Ilkley coach Rhys Morgan said: “If we didn’t know before how good this league is we do now. Every game looks to be a real test.

“There’s some long trips to the North East and also a good number of Yorkshire derbies. It is going to be great to play clubs like Bradford & Bingley.

“In a way it is an indication of how far we have come as a club. It is going to be a step up for us and we are looking forward to it.”

With Ilkley second team being promoted to the Yorkshire Merit Table’s Premier Division, the demands on the players will be greater.

Rugby chairman Tom Gillon said: “There will be a lot more travelling for both our teams and that is going to be a challenge.

“It will involve a lot of commitment from everybody, but we are determined to build on the success we enjoyed last season.

“I believe the challenge facing the second team will be every bit as tough as the test facing the first team.

“It is a real step up to be facing the second teams of National League clubs like Wharfedale, Otley and Hull Ionians.

“The quality of the opposition will be different to what we are used to so our squad will be really tested next season.”

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