Ilkeston ll 3 – 12 Bingham
By Chris Packer
Resources stretched, horrible weather but a brace of tries from Ben Sansom help Bingham overcome a dogged Ilkeston Development XV
The match photo’s don’t show the extent the weather influenced this game with a strong wind and driving rain making handling very difficult
The squad was heavily stretched with many being unavailable and a few players carrying heavy colds. Matters did not improve as Oscar Ciaurro was unable to start resulting in Will Packer moving in to hook.
Playing with the wind and slope, the hosts maintained early possession and field position & took the lead thanks to a penalty on 5 mins.
On 10 mins Bingham suffers another blow as Anthony Thomas is forced to leave the game. Ben Packer moves to scrum half and Adam Downie comes on to flank not having played since the end of last season.
Bingham concede another penalty as they struggle to get out of their half but Ilkeston pull the penalty wide.
Jack Barnard playing again at 10 makes a terrific break and Bingham begin to assert some dominance. Jonathan Thomas links with Ben Packer breaking blind from a scrum but after some sustained pressure allows Ilkeston an easy clearance after crossing.
Half time comes 3 – 0
Bingham bring on Tony Alridge and with the wind and slope, the Bingham pack take control of the set plays. Bingham create a half chance in the backs and Ben Sansom is able to spin out of a tackle and accelerate sharply and scores 3 – 5
A greater counter-attack from Ilkeston following a big clearance almost got them straight back into the game barring some last-ditch defence from Jack Barnard & Ben Sansom.
The weather got steadily worse and prevented any hope of free-flowing rugby and Bingham made the best of the prevailing conditions particularly in the scrums.
Continuous pressure on the Ilkeston scrum forced the hosts to rush and with poor possession, Bingham forced Ilkeston simply to run wide allowing Ben Sansom to steal a loose ball on the Ilkeston 22 and race in much to Oscar’s excitement on the touchline as he had been unable to play any part in the game.
Despite the conditions and close to the line, Ben Packer slots the kick to give Bingham a 9 point cushion.
Ilkeston were only able to make rare incursions into the Bingham half and forced to try to run from deep as the weather closed in and Bingham managed the final 10 mins to gain a hard-fought win.
With so many players unavailable, a testament to how the squad has been able to cover and a good spirit building.
The result leaves Bingham third in the league and entertains Kesteven next Saturday who currently are the league-leading point scorers and have conceded the least. A challenging encounter for sure to look forward to