Scarborough RUFC paid the price for a sluggish start in their game at Ilkley, as they suffered a 31-17 defeat in the Yorkshire One clash.
Scarborough’s first-team manager Dave Smith said: “We were a bit slow in the opening 20 to 25 minutes and the home team took full advantage and scored a couple of tries.
“We had looked really good in the pre-match warm-up in our previous game - before the win against Brid - but before this match we just didn’t look as bright after travelling to the ground and in the early exchanges we looked second-best.”
After just eight minutes, the home side took the lead with their opening try.
Smith said: “Their number nine went through for the first try and they converted to go 7-0 ahead. Ilkley were the better team and with us being so slow out of the blocks it was not long before they got another try, with their impressive winger showing his lightning pace to break through.”
Scarborough gained a foothold in the game briefly with a 30-metre Tom Ratcliffe penalty, awarded for offside.
The visitors now began to show more signs of promise, but they failed to add to Ratcliffe’s penalty and Ilkley surged into a 17-3 half-time lead thanks to a catch and drive which earned them a third try.
Smith added: “After the break we looked much stronger and pulled it back to 17-10 thanks to a fine try from Tom Ratcliffe. He went wide and beat their number 13, then went onto outpace the Ilkley winger and full-back to touch down in the corner.
“Tom Harrison took on the kicking duties and converted an awkward kick to bring us back to within a converted try of Ilkley.
“Ilkley then scored their fourth try in somewhat fortuitous circumstances, the ball was thrown wide to their number 13, but it went through him and found another of their players who scored in the corner. With the successful conversion they were now 24-10 ahead.”
The try of the game, scored by sub Phil Stewart but set up by some top-class work by full-back Corey Dennis, once again gave Scarborough hope.
Smith said: “Corey ran from inside his own half and beat two defenders, he then chipped over the top and collected the ball one-handed. He then went for the line but he was being closed down so he passed the ball over his right shoulder to Stewart, who was offering support.
“We then had a few chances, as Luke Raines and Nino Cutino both impressed for us as we went looking for the levelling try, but Ilkley’s winger intercepted a move and his second try secured the win for them.”
Dennis was named as the man of the match for an excellent display at full-back, highlighted by his contribution to the second try.