ILKLEY completely outclassed a below-par Rossendale to clinch their third-straight home win of the season, 20-3, in the North Premier.

Despite some indifferent performances away from home this season, Stacks Field is becoming a difficult place for visiting sides to play rugby.

Having disposed of Billingham in defiant fashion two weeks before, Ilkley went to work on Rossendale, who were never really in the game.

A missed penalty in front of the posts in the third minute by James Bramhall got the visitors off on the wrong foot.

Out of a scrappy, violent first 10 minutes, Rossendale full back Lewis Allen went off injured, and Rossendale took a 3-0 lead on 12 minutes, Bramhall this time slotting over the simple kick.

Rossendale seemed to be taking the game by the scruff of the neck, scrum-half Harry Moulding feeding their large forwards attempting batter their way through the defence.

But those hard yards gained failed to add up, with Ilkley standing up well, giving back some phases of their own, resulting in an equalising penalty from Ramsey in front of the posts in the 26th minute.

The tide beginning to turn, another penalty was won by the forwards two minutes later, but hooked wide from Ramsey.

But where he failed with the boot, Ramsey made up for it with flair in distribution, linking well with Blake Morgan and finding gaps in the midfield for the backs to exploit.

A shrewdly-worked move, beginning inside Ilkley’s half, was crowned with a beautifully-timed pass from full-back Kobe O’Brien to put speedy Struan Connor through for his 14th try of the season.

JH Johnson’s long-kicking boot kept Dale pinned back in their own 22, and several times the visitors fell for the sucker-punch of kicking directly into touch, giving Ilkley throw-ins in dangerous positions.

This tactic paid dividends in the 38th minute as Johnson blasted through a hole in Rossendale’s until now defiant defence, which was all to no avail with an interception from Connor to sprint over for his second try, another missed conversion making it 13-3 at half-time.

The visitors began the second-half brightly, but more great runs from Johnson and Connor reminded them of the Ilkley’s threat as a counter-attacking unit, which has grown throughout the season.

Despite further determined rear-guard defence from Rossendale, prop Nick Flynn was sin-binned on 48 minutes.

This led to another powerful run from Johnson, who extracted a gap for McKay and the back row, Connor finishing well to complete a fine hat-trick, Ramsey converting, leaving it 20-3.

Ilkley coach Jimmy Lowes said: “It was our best defensive performance since Billingham, and they never really looked like getting through. That was the difference between the sides.”