ILKLEY dominated the first half and survived a powerful comeback from Lymm at a chilly Stack’s Field to win their North Premier clash 20-18.

Putting the visitors under pressure from the kick-off, Blake Morgan scored under the posts in the seventh minute, with the conversion missed.

Lymm pressed into Ilkley territory, gaining a penalty in the 15th minute, which was slotted over by Cormac Nolan to bring the score to 5-3.

Ilkley’s back line now came alive. A jinking run from full back Cam Burnhill caught Lymm offside, and the quick tapped penalty created Morgan’s second try after 22 minutes.

The missed conversion meant Lymm were still in touch at 10-3.

Excellent defensive work from Ilkley’s back row allowed a penalty to be reversed five metres from the Ilkley line on 25 minutes, and the home side thundered into Lymm territory, but to no avail, the visitors' defence holding firm.

Morgan went off with a knee injury 10 minutes before half-time, symptomatic of a highly physical game.

Lymm flanker Aaron Rasheed was impressive in the lineout with several important takes, but in the end Ilkley’s superior territory paid dividends.

A thundering 20-metre run by Johnson, returning to the right wing where he began his career, spearheaded another Ilkley attack, with hooker Harry Wales driven over in the corner.

Ramsey’s conversion made it 17-3 just before half-time.

After a good start to the second half, Nolan’s penalty kick on 51 minutes pegged the score back to 17-6.

Good work by the Lymm forwards, along with some smart kicking, drove Ilkley back toward their line.

Ilkley prop Ollie Holtam was presented with a controversial yellow card for “persistent incorrect binding” in the 60th minute, and Halford capitalised with an overlap try five minutes later.

Lymm’s backs produced another try in the 71st minute to edge ahead 18-17.

But flanker Joe Lawes produced a blistering run through the middle for to earn a match-winning penalty in front of the posts in the 74th minute, kicked by Ramsey to secure the points for Ilkley.

Relieved Ilkley coach Rhys Morgan said: “The yellow card wasn’t right – the ref couldn’t see what was happening.

“But we kept going well and got the win - I’m proud of the lads.”

Chairman Mike Halling was also satisfied, saying: “We have nearly 30 points, which at this stage of the season is good – we’re secure.”