ILKLEY 20 ROSSENDALE 3
By Paul Kilshaw
Without a win since 8th December when they beat Alnwick away 7-15 and now having lost four and drawn one of the following games Rossendale are not where they want to be in the North Premier table.
Although Saturday's reversal could be blamed in part on the side being unable to train throughout the week due to the poor weather and having to play on an unfamiliar synthetic pitch it is the accumulation of defeats that should provide 'food for thought' at Marl Pits.
And, after another lacklustre performance, it is obvious that, albeit temporarily, they have lost their way. They without doubt have the spirit and ability to turn it round and whilst they are twenty points above the relegation zone they do need a return to winning ways as soon as possible and with Wirral next up at home on 9th February they have the perfect opportunity to do just that.
However on Saturday Ilkley were the better side and were certainly up for it and had control through their pack for most of the eighty minutes.
Rossendale were first to score a penalty from James Bramhall affording a 0-3 lead. It did not last long as Ilkley levelled matters with a penalty from Charles Ramsey and with two tries both from Struan Connor plus a conversion from Ramsey went in at the interval 13-3 ahead.
The second half become 'bogged down' in the weather with just one score, a third try from Connor, converted by Ramsey further emphasising the difference.