Wirral 17, Ilkley 39

WITH Wirral missing five key players for this game along with basic errors in the first 20 minutes whilst playing against a strong wind, Ilkley took advantage off the situation and made possession count as they ran in four tries in the first quarter against a shell-shocked home team.

During this first quarter, Wirral had no possession and were not helped by inconsistent refereeing decisions with matters not being helped when one of the Wirral props was sin-binned for a minor indiscretion.

With Ilkley having the benefit of a try bonus point by the 20th minute through tries by Luke Pearson, two by Struan Connor and Ollie Holtam, plus two conversions by Chuckie Ramsay, they played with confidence as they looked to spread the ball wide.

When Wirral finally had a decent amount of possession they worked their way downfield and through No 8 Keith Mahon scored two unconverted tries from close range.

Wirral had chances to score two further tries, but were missed when the line was at their mercy; it was obviously not going to be their day.

On the second miss, Struan Connor intercepted and sped some 75 metres to score under the posts for his hat-trick and a 31-10 lead for Ilkley at half time.

The second half saw Wirral with a greater share of possession than they enjoyed in the first half but with players suffering injuries it was a patched up team that played out the second half as Ilkley scored a penalty and Wirral came back with a converted try by Dan Harvey.

Wirral pressed for the try bonus point but to no avail and in the dying moments of the game, Ilkley ran in their sixth try of the afternoon to give them a resounding 17-39 win.