THE strong links between Ilkley RFC and Ilkley Grammar School have paid off as the school's Under-15s team recently won the Yorkshire Cup and reach the semi-finals of a national competition.

The Ilkley Grammar School side just missed out on reaching the final of the national Schools Under-15s Bowl when they were beaten by Hutton Grammar School 17-0 at Ilkley Rugby Club earlier this month.

However, just four days later the school's Under-15s team brought home some silverware after beating Wolfreton 12-5 in the final of the Yorkshire Cup.

Ilkley's first team coach Rhys Morgan was pleased with the young team's success and spoke about the strong links between Ilkley RFC and the school.

"Our coaches have been helping the school out during the week," said Morgan. "There's no doubt that this has added to the strength of rugby at the school.

"I think it's beneficial having close ties in the community and that we've established contacts between the club and the school," said Morgan. "It's of great importance to the survival of the rugby club that we maintain this link with the school."

Following a blank weekend, Ilkley first's team are back in action this Saturday with a fixture away at Lymm.

"Lymm are a good team who are committed to each other," said Morgan. "They like to throw the ball around, so we have to go there and do a job."

Lymm are 11th in the North Premier with 39 points, while Ilkley sit ninth with 53 points. Ilkley beat Lymm 20-18 at Stacks Field in November.

"We've been very competitive throughout the season, but we must keep that concentration in the last four games," said Morgan. "We'd like to push up the table and at least equal last year's seventh place finish. It'll be a brilliant result no matter where we end up.

"We have had a lot of changes this season," he added. "We've had 10 different people playing full back this year."

Ilkley are coming off a 21-15 loss against a strong Blaydon side 12 days ago.

"It was a bit disappointing that our line-out didn't function on the day, but in all other areas of the game we were on the front foot.

"The boys put in an absolutely fantastic shift," he said. "We stood tall, were competitive and came back strongly in the second half. If there were another five minutes, we would have won that game."

Ilkley had four players suffer injuries in that game - Struan Connor, Joe Lowes, Max McKay and Ricky Palacio - but Morgan said with an extra week of rest he is hoping all four will be fit for Saturday.

The match at Lymm kicks off at 3pm.