Lindley Swifts 14
For the second week running Illingworth emerged victorious against Lindley Swifts, this time in a Second Division Pennine League game at Wappy Springs.
The home side dominated possession in the opening stages, with scrum half Kevin Bower particularly to the fore.
But Illingworth were first on the scoreboard, breaking the Swift’s defence in spectacular fashion on 11 minutes.
Loose forward Tom McAdam made the initial yards running the ball out from deep and feeding Jack Bradbury 30 yards from his own line.
The winger outpaced the first line of defence and drew opposition full back Paddy Vinters before putting a well-timed pass inside to supporting Luke Sutcliffe who went the last 15 yards to touch down under the posts. Leigh King added the conversion to give his side a six point lead.
Lindley hit back just before the mid-point of the half. Capitalising on the greater share of possession, Bower’s last tackle kick over the defence was gathered by winger Jordan Collinson who touched down in the right hand corner. Bower converted to level the scores.
Four minutes later Lindley went ahead when a suspiciously forward pass found Ben Cole on the left, who went in for an unconverted try.
Resolute defence, led by man of the match Nathan Smith, kept the visitors in the game as starved of the ball they had few chances to profit.
Ben Harris created the best five minutes before the break when his deft kick just eluded winger Kieran Nicholson with a try beckoning.
Nicholson did however reduce the deficit to just two points, slotting over a penalty on half time.
With props Ryan Jepson, Ash Ainley and substitute Wayne Scott gradually gaining the upper hand up front, Illingworth made greater inroads into the Swift’s defence.
Sutcliffe almost got to his own kick to touch down, and Ben Harris’ potential try making pass failed to find Nicholson 10 yards out. A midfield break from Smith deserved to produce more, but the move ended with the ball lost in the tackle.
Nicholson gained some reward for his side’s efforts just before the hour, levelling the scores with a penalty from in front of the posts.
A Harris kick forced a drop out from under the posts, and from the resulting set of plays Sutcliffe broke the deadlock kicking over the defence, acrobatically regathering and touching down. King added the extras to put his side six ahead. Lindley cut the lead to two points with 10 minutes of the game remaining. Bower was again the provider, Collinson once more going over for an unconverted try.
The visitors, with top place in the division the prize awaiting them should they be victorious, confirmed the points with three minutes remaining.
Richard Crawshaw gained suitable reward for his efforts, capitalising on his own last tackle kick and scoring close the posts. Nicholson completed the scoring and hard fought win with the conversion.