Elland’s battling 15 clinch survival

Skirlaugh v Elland'Luke Read
Skirlaugh v Elland'Luke Read

A depleted but resilient Elland secured their place in Division One of the National Conference for next season with a 30-18 success at Skirlaugh.

Elland travelled with only 15 men to the industrial wastelands east of Hull where the wind turbines are looked on as an improvement to the landscape.

Coach Junaid Malik had to don his kit once more to make up the numbers.

The first score went to Skirlaugh, a loose ball being seized by their number three to score on the wing. The conversion was missed.

A high tackle gave Elland a penalty, which allowed Jack Fairbank to score on the left wing. Cayci Pearson converted.

The high tackles continued and Pearson got a yellow card.

Despite being a man down Elland attacked strongly but a number of chances came to nothing. Hull took advantage of the extra man and passed down the line to score out wide on the left wing for an 8-6 lead.

Elland came back strongly and good handling from scrum half Chris Cullimore and Malik put Richard Crawshaw in on the right wing. Peearson added the goal.

Crawshaw set up another try, making a 40 yard break and sending the supporting Cullimore under the posts. Pearson converted and Elland had an 18-8 advantage at the break.

After knock-ons from both sides Jack Fairbank burst through but was caught five yards short of the try line. The ball was ripped out by Skirlaugh but winger Alex Milburn scooped it up to score. Pearson converted.

Skirlaugh found the dead ball line with their restart and pressed hard. They were held up over the try line but finally scored under the posts from an inside pass and the kick made it 14–24.

Phil Taylor and Brad Radcliffe set up Cullimore to score close to the posts and man of the match Pearson converted with five minutes left.

Skirlaugh added one final unconverted try but victory moved Elland up to 10th with three games left, away to relegated Salford City Roosters next Saturday, at home to Kells on October 17 and away to Myton Warriors on the 24th.