What a thrilling season this has been. First half of the season saw all 5 of Ilkley’s losses due to injuries in the early season. The good thing was that players from the 2nd team stepped up to the plate to fill in for injured players.
After defeat away to Northern, Ilkley went on a 14 game winning run from the beginning of December to the end of the season.
Despite Ilkley’s winning streak, Sheffield, the league leaders, also kept winning leaving Ilkley nipping at their heels throughout the second half of the season. Last weekend Sheffield slipped up losing 9-8 against Percy Park which allowed Ilkley to go three points clear at the top of the table after beating Driffield by 27 points to 22.
All that was needed today was a win to guarantee promotion, Ilkley were up for it and streaked ahead 33-0 against Pocklington until the last few minutes when, I feel the Ilkley players were already popping the Champagne corks and taking their minds off the game, let in 2 soft try’s to win 33-12.
The players, in Grand Prix style, opened the Champagne bottles on the pitch after the final whistle blew.
Well done to the whole Ilkley squad, everyone played a part in a long and hard season. Back to back promotions is not easy but Ilkley did it.
The very best of luck to Ilkley Rugby next season in National League 3 North.
I encourage local Ilkley residents to watch Ilkley play next season, it’s a lovely club house, friendly people and win or lose everyone gets on.