Elks start the year in style
THE Elks continued their fine run of form with the demolition of Grimsby at The Stute, taking them to third in the table and re-igniting their promotion push.
Ilkestonís performance was in parts clinical with exhilarating patches of continuity rugby leading to scores at regular intervals during the game.
In all the Elks scored nine tries, six converted by Jono Falls. The score recorded two for Paul Dodds, his first since joining the Elks, a hat-trick for winger Dan Mahoney and one for his twin brother Steve.
There was one for man of the match Steve Quinn and one for Jono Falls to add to his conversions.
The game also saw Scott Rudkin celebrate his 35th birthday and his trademark try in the second half earned the loudest applause of the afternoon.
Rudkin's contribution as player and player coach has been immense since his arrival from New Zealand some ten years ago.
The style of rugby played by the Elks has Rudkin's stamp on it showing a desire to run the ball from all areas of the park.
The first half provided four tries, numbers one and two both going to hooker Dodds.
For the opener, Jon Britton fielded a loose kick inside his own 22 and moved the ball infield. Quick hands set Jono Falls on a run and when the tackle came Adam Stoker kept the ball alive. Deft passing out of the contact by Jason Falls and George Darby allowed Dodds to crash over.
The second followed ten minutes later and came courtesy of a clean line out take by Bryn Locke. The ball was driven over the line and when the bodies were peeled away a grinning Dodds emerged as scorer.
Steve Mahoney claimed the next score and the try of the game. Again the move started deep inside the Elks half with play switching from one side of the pitch to the other and back again.
The pace of movement and accuracy of passing was a prime example of expansive 15 man rugby.
Steve Quinn made the next score for Jono Falls with a searing break supported by Alan Cook and Dan Taylor.
Just as it was looking as though the Elks would run away with the game the visitors fought back and using their forwards to pick and drive gave the home side a torrid ten minutes. Their endeavours were rewarded with a well taken try from winger Morgan leaving it 22-5 at the half.
Normal service was resumed early in the second half. With only three minutes gone Stokers line-out ball enabled Dan Taylor to step his way through a crowded midfield and feed Dan Mahoney who turned on the gas and raced close to the posts.
Another scorching break by Quinn from the base of a scrum saw him out pace the cover and score between the posts to make it 36-5.
To their credit Grimsby were not willing to lay down and brought themselves some hope with a try through a driving maul credited to prop Corry.
That was however to be their last contribution to the scoreboard but not to the game. Coach Dave Hutchinson rang the changes and fresh legs provided even more problems for Grimsby.
Adam Fox replaced scrum-half Andrew Chapman who had given yet another terrier-like performance and had earned his rest.
source - ilkeston advertiser