Ilkley 25

Macclesfield 32

ILKLEY lost out to Macclesfield in a feast of running rugby played at Stacks Field on a glorious Saturday afternoon.

With the pitch in superb shape, the day was made for running rugby which is what ensued as eight tries were scored.

The first five minutes saw Macclesfield exert pressure before Ilkley won a penalty 25 metres out in open play, which was well converted by Chuckie Ramsay to give Ilkley the opening score.

This was soon countered; firstly by a bullocking try by Witness Mandizha, which was converted, and then by another try after a flying run down one wing. Although this was not converted, it gave the visitors a 12-3 lead.

The fast and furious game continued with Ilkley scoring a converted try as scrum-half Blake Morgan darted over after a quickly taken penalty to make it 12-10.

Another home try followed when prop Ollie Holtam scored after sustained pressure in the away team’s 22, giving Ilkley a 15-12 half-time lead.

At the interval it was anyone’s game with both teams having scored two tries.

However, shortly after the break a twisting run by the visitors’ centre Broster resulted in a touch down in the right hand corner, which was not converted but had restored Macclesfield’s lead.

This was short lived as, after more running rugby, Ilkley winger Owen Dudman went over. This score was converted by Ramsay to put Ilkley ahead again.

The lead was extended to 25-17 by another well-taken Ramsay penalty.

However, Macclesfield narrowed the deficit with a well-taken try, not converted, in the corner.

Macclesfield equalled the score at 25-25 by a well-struck penalty for the visitors in a key moment of contention as Ilkley scrum-half Morgan was yellow carded.

In the ten minutes that he was off the field Macclesfield scored their final try, which was converted.

This gave the visitors a lead of 32-25, which they held on to until the end, running out worthy winners after a scintillating rugby match.

Finally, a word of praise should be included for the referee Michael Hurdley, who controlled an excellent open and flowing match which was an advert for the division.