Leaders brought down to earth!
Selby RUFC 2nds... 38
Ilkley 2nds............... 0
The unbeaten run of the Yorkshire RFU Merit Table Championship League leaders came to a shuddering halt at Sandhill Lane where the host team scored a comprehensive victory.
And with the 1st XV without a fixture, it provided plenty of cheer – and a bonus point – as the second string cemented their place in the upper reaches of the table.
Though winning the league is probably now out of reach, they do have every chance of finishing runners-up, providing they can improve their away form.
Ilkley arrived with a 100 per cent record in their previous nine matches. But Selby proved just how difficult they are to beat on home turf, with four wins and a draw from their five Merit Table games played to date, and the visitors rarely threatened their line.
Matthew Torn, who was to finish with half-a-dozen successful kicks, was presented with an easy penalty within minutes of kick-off when early home pressure caught Ilkley offside. And when the visitors had a chance to equalise with a penalty of their own, it went wide.
Though temporarily down to 14 men when skipper Kevin Lamb was yellow-carded for not retreating ten metres, the rampant Swans forged further in front through Nick Firth after Robert Bourke continued a determined break by Paul Gabel, with the reliable Torn converting and then doing so again when Rich Topping dummied his way over for a 17-0 half-time lead.
However, Selby had been on the defensive towards the end of the first half and were subsequently unable to score until the 56th minute – not helped by a greasy ball in cold and wet conditions – despite a couple of excellent runs from Lamb.
The try eventually came from veteran Duncan Phillips, still looking every inch an accomplished player as he sold an outrageous dummy before squeezing through a gap to touch down, with Torn once again adding the extras.
Winger Stephen Clark then capitalised on a huge overlap as the ball was spread wide, with Torn giving his side an unassailable advantage.
At this point Ilkley started to exert some pressure, but the Selby forwards once more turned over possession and, thanks to superb support from Tom Ambler, Clark wrapped up proceedings with his second try, this time right under the posts for Torn to complete his impressive tally.
Special mention must go to the forwards who, although up against a bigger pack, turned over possession on a regular basis and provided the platform for this excellent display.
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Weather for Goole
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
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