Ilkeston Rugby Club topple Midlands One East leaders Bedford Athletic to boost title hopes
THE Midlands One East title race took another twist as Ilkeston toppled leaders Bedford Athletic at the Stute.
The result took the Elks above Bedford into third place, level on points with new leaders Peterborough Lions and Old Northamptonians.
Bedford opened the scoring with an early penalty but the hosts responded with Jono Falls crossing in the corner.
The visitors hit back, though, with two tries, one converted, to lead 15-5 at half-time.
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Ilkeston scored soon after the restart as Joel Haigh sliced through the defence for a try that Falls converted.
Steve Quinn crashed over next and Falls, who added the conversion, then ran in his second score to secure the bonus point for Ilkeston with 10 minutes to go.
Bedford rallied and a converted try took them to within two points of the Elks.
But Ilkeston sealed victory when Quinn touched down following a series of pick and drives.
The conversion would have denied Bedford a losing bonus point but the attempt was unsuccessful.
Ilkeston coach David Jackson said: "It's a great result for us, which puts us in a position to challenge at the top of the table.
"We've kept ourselves in the hunt and it's going to be very tight at the top until the end of the season."