York travelled to the delightful spa town of Ilkley hoping to put behind them the disappointment of the loss to Heath the previous week, and to continue to put pressure on Harrogate sitting at the top of the table.

Ilkley have had a stop start to the season having won 3 and lost 3 and sitting in the middle of the table, but last week had enjoyed a good win away at Pontefract and were looking to put a run together.

York elected to kick off and the early play took place in the Ilkley half with good interplay and driving from both forwards and backs which resulted in a penalty duly kicked by Liam Hessay. 0-3 after 7 minutes.

Unfortunately, York failed to build on this early success and Ilkley spent time on the ball putting pressure on the York defence, a penalty was conceded and missed but from the kick out the home side worked an opening and the winger Ben Walker touched down, the conversion was kicked. 7-3 after 13 minutes.

York conceded a penalty 30 metres out which was kicked by the fly half Charles Morgan, 10-3 after 20 minutes.

It did not take York long to put further points on the board, strong driving earning them a penalty after 25 minutes which Liam Hessay kicked. The score now 10-6.

It wasn’t long before Ilkley responded, they missed a penalty, but York were penalised again but managed to steal the Ilkley line out before conceding another which the reliable Charles Morgan kicked. 13-6 after 31 minutes.

For the rest of the half both sides at times put the other under pressure and only desperate defence and poor ball control and retention by both sides meant no further score.

The second half began with constant Ilkley attacks and only strong defending kept the home side at bay, but eventually the pressure told and after six minutes the No7 Joe Lowes touched down, the try was converted by Charles Morgan to take the score to 20-6.

It was vital that York scored next otherwise the gap would be too great.

Their task was made easier by Ilkley getting on the wrong side of the referee, conceding 14 penalties in the half and having 3 players sent to the bin at various times.

The first try came after several penalties at which York opted for the scrum and eventually a gap opened for the ever-alert Toby Atkin who touched down near to the posts. The conversion was a formality for Liam Hessay. The score 20-13 after 19 minutes.

Ilkley then had a period of possession and after several penalties and not been able to effect a push over try, numbers told and they made space for winger Mitch Ashman to touch down in the corner. The conversion was missed. 20-18 after 28 minutes. T

After further forward drives Archie Fothergill elected to kick for goal. Liam Hessay had no difficulty. 34 minutes gone, York now led 20-21 and it was the final score as they had no difficulty seeing out the remainder of the game which ended in the home sides 22.

A good win over a side who will trouble many teams over the course of the season, but the margin could have been wider if York had been more clinical.

With no game next week, York RUFC are back in action with a top of the table clash at home against the league leaders Harrogate on the Saturday, November 4.