Athletic fall to Ilkeston loss in low-scoring affair

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A disappointing day for Bedford Athletic saw them fall to defeat by 15 points to 13 away to Derbyshire side Ilkeston.

On a ground that the club have not won at in recent seasons, Athletic dominated the majority of possession and territory but ultimately could not prise open a stubborn home defence, going down by two tries to one.

Bedford were on the attack from the start of the game but only had a penalty from James Mortimer to show by the end of the first quarter of an hour.

They then fell victim to Ilkeston’s first attack as a break from their own half saw the home side maintain sufficient pressure to send scrum-half Jack Lamb over for the opening try which Jono Falls converted.

The visitors returned to their task and their pressure was finally rewarded when scrum-half Tom Orton burst clear from 30 yards to cross for a try which Mortimer converted to put Athletic in the lead at 10-7.

There was still time before the end of the half for Ilkeston to respond and they made pressure in the visitors’ 22 count with a second try for Lamb which, although unconverted, did secure them a 12-10 half time lead.

The start of the second half saw Bedford Athletic on the attack once more as a wave of pressure crashed against a resilient Ilkeston defence.

Ryan Taylor was held up over the line and the visitors chose to take three quick tap penalties in Ilkeston’s 22 when easy penalty kicks may have restored their lead.

Eventually it was from a penalty kick a little further out in the 58th minute that Mortimer slotted over to put Athletic in front.

However, the side did not control the ball from the kick-off and eventually another penalty from Falls restored Ilkeston’s lead.

Great work from Nick Thomas saw an Ilkeston clearance kick charged down but, finally in behind the defence, the scoring pass to Tommy Mills was missed.

Although another penalty was accrued, this one was missed and Ilkeston retained the lead.

They managed to maintain this right up to the final whistle, despite creating no further scoring chances themselves and surviving a length of the field Athletic counter attack led by Ben Johnson and Dolemore which was once again stopped just short of the line.