Swifts grounded by in-form Illingworth

Illingworth 40 Lindley Swifts 18

Johny Taylor’s Illingworth triumphed emphatically against Lindley Swifts in Division Two of the Pennine League, ending the visitors unbeaten start to the season.

The home side started slowly and went behind when the Swifts touched down wide on the right with under two minutes gone.

It took until the 10th minute before Illingworth hit back, with the increasingly influential Luke Sandland putting hooker Graham Dobson over from close range. Sandland’s conversion gave his side a 6-4 lead.

That became 12-4 five minutes later when good approach work on the right saw a superbly timed Andrew McElroy pass put centre Andrew Laheney over, Sandland again adding the extras.

Lindley, enjoying their best period of the game, hit back with two tries in quick succession to take a two point lead, the second conversion inexplicable missed from in front of the posts.

It was the cue for Illingworth to move into top gear and concerted attack gave Laheney the opportunity to score his second, Sandland superbly converting from the touchline.

Five minutes later winger Kieran Nicholson capitalised on good approach work from Jack Bradbury and raced behind the posts, Sandland’s conversion making it 24-14 to the home side.

On half time Sandland crossed from close range, his conversion giving his side a 16 point lead at the break.

The second half started as the first ended, with Illingworth on top adding to the lead with the half barely a minute old.

The platform was set by Dobson and Sandland, Bradbury providing the finish in the left hand corner.

On 52 minutes powerful prop Josh Baldwin made good yards up centre field, Sandland’s long cut out pass found Nicholson who made it 38-14.

A lapse in the Ilingworth defence allowed Lindley to cut the gap with an unconverted try. Excellent runs from Wayne Scott and Tom McAdam pressurised the Swifts into conceding a penalty and Sandland converted for an impressive win.