Johnson, Coates, Heron, James, Downsborough, Dawes, Sharp, Ward, Granger, Scrimshaw (c), Firth, Owen, Malthouse, Bruce, Thomson.
Subs: Wilkinson, Barnes, Cadogan, & Cartwright.
Tries: Malthouse, Firth & Scrimshaw.
Cons: Scrimshaw (3).
Pens: Scrimshaw (2).
*Player of the match: Olly Scrimshaw*
The Hawks welcomed Ilkley to North Dean for their first league game in YRFU & NE Premiership. After a great preseason, the squad was in fine shape and named a strong lineup.
After a frantic first quarter, both teams looked to play attractive rugby but defences held firm. Last season's top try scorer, Jack Bruce, made a couple of half breaks but couldn’t get over. Emlyn James, Brook Ward and George Heron carried hard, with Max Dawes, Sam Sharp and Andy Coates hitting hard in defence. Jack Malthouse scored the first try for the Hawks, running a great line off Olly Scrimshaw to go clear before riding the last tackle to crash over, Scrimshaw converted.
There was a welcome return for Martyn Barnes, along with Matthew Wilkinson, adding energy from the bench as Heath withstood numerous raids on their try line. Ian Downsborough stripped the ball as Ilkley looked likely to score, with Zak Thomson and Scrimshaw clearing the ball well to relieve pressure. The Hawks were able to hold out for a 7-0 halftime lead.
Eddie Cartwright replaced Thomson, at fullback and the Hawks started the second half superbly. New signing, Jake Firth had shown glimpses of his pace in the first half and when Tom Owen combined with Cartwright to release him with a well-timed pass, he pushed away the first defender before sprinting clear in a 70-metre dash. Captain and player of the match, Scrimshaw converted. Ilkley looked to respond; Bruce shot in from his wing to snuff out a dangerous raid only to be sin binned for a high tackle. Eventually the visitors crashed over from close range to reduce the deficit.
The Hawks dominated after this point, sensibly kicking two penalties to extend the lead to 13. Downsborough released Wilkinson who was unlucky not to score after a weaving run. Firth, Malthouse and Rondene Johnson went hard at the line and set good field position.
Scrum half, Harry Granger drew a number of penalties as he sniped well against a tiring team. Scrimshaw sealed the win, backing up a flowing move to finish under the posts, converting his own try and finishing the game with an impressive 17 point haul. Full time 27-7.
This was an impressive start against a very good side who tested our excellent defence all game. This has set the standard and the Hawks will look to build next week against Selby. UTH 👊🦅