Illingworth’s big date

editorial image

Illingworth face their biggest challenge for several years when they host Upton in the last eight of the BARLA National Cup on Saturday (2.0).

A bumper crowd is expected as the home men endeavour to upset the odds.

Johnny Taylor’s Illingworth have got to this stage with wins at Crigglestone and Batley Boys. They warmed up with a 26-18 home victory over Boothtown in the Fee Cup last weekend.

Pennine Premier side Upton have had mixed fortunes in their last two games, home and away against Fryston. After a thrilling extra time win in the BARLA Cup, they were soundly beaten 56-12 at Fryston last weekend. Stanningley and North Herts Crusaders were overcome in earlier rounds.

Illingworth are in good hearty after victory in a feisty derby last week.

After an even opening, second row Ryan Jepson made good yards and Graham Dobson and Tom McAdam moved the ball left for Scott Allen to go over for a four point lead.

As the half hour passed the hosts increased their lead to 10-0 when full-back Luke Sutcliffe swooped on a loose ball, out-paced the defence and touched down. Kieran Nicholson converted.

Boothtown had a good spell as the break approached with half backs Graham Charlesworth and Liam Walsh increasingly influential. Mark Sutcliffe had a try ruled out due to an infringement in the lead up to the touch down.

Boothtown were rewarded on 48 minutes, Graham Rowlinson cutting through a flat footed defence and Charlesworth slotting the conversion.

Illingworth hit back five minutes later when Dobson’s superbly-weighted chip was collected by Andrew McElroy. Nicholson’s kick made it 16-6.

Sutcliffe added his second for Illingworth just after the hour mark, pouncing on Allen’s grubber kick.

The visitors immediately hit back. Reece Drahosz cut through to go under the posts and Charlesworth converted.

With 10 minutes remaining Vaughan Walsh set home nerves jangling by scoring in the corner, Charlesworth’s fine kick making it 20-18.

Nicholson killed off thoughts of an upset with a try wide out from Jack Bradbury’s pass, his goal clinching a semi-final against Stainland Stags.