Craven u-17s 2 Keighley u-17s 8

A solid Keighley sparkled against Craven in their opening fixture of this year’s County Cup.

Keighley, who had won the reverse fixture last season 10-0, almost went behind when Ross Green-wood hit the bar but they took the lead after eight minutes.

A corner from captain Ryan Narey to the back post was headed in by George Sellars.

On a pitch getting heavier by the minute, a defensive mix-up allowed Euan Sessford to ghost in and double the lead. Sessford and fellow striker Pedro Quintas produced intelligent movement and it was no surprise when, after 19 minutes, Quintas made it 3-0 with a cool finish.

The back four of Declan Consoli, Alex Daniels, the impressive George Guest, and Aaron Dickson were coping with any pressure but Keighley needed a fantastic flying save by Reece Simpson from a George Store free-kick to keep Craven at bay.

The visitors regained momentum when good link-up play from Ben Dakin and Dickson set up Sessford for number four.

Craven pulled a goal back from Greenwood and Keighley had to settle for a 4-1 half-time lead after Sessford missed a penalty.

Rain continued to make conditions tough but Keighley coped well as Quintas slotted home a close-range effort after the break.

Craven pulled one back through Ben Cox before Narey notched his second with some fine play involving substitutes Ben Rams-den and Ciaran Moulds as Keighley cruised into a 6-2 lead.

With the game safe, Keighley brought on the fresh legs of Joe Meegan, Joshua Hardisty and Jonson Butterfield, who all impressed, which did not disrupt the fluidity of their game.

First Narey completed a much-deserved hat-trick with another clean strike and then Ramsden finished off the scoring.

Narey collected the man-of-the-match award for his ever-industrious attitude and clever forward play.

Keighley go into their other three group games with confidence but will face much tougher opposition in Wharfedale, Halifax and Bradford.

Their next match is away to Halifax at Brighouse Town’s Dual Seal Stadium on Tuesday, December 4 (7.30pm).

Keighley squad: Reece Simpson, Joshua Hardisty, Jonson Butterfield, Alex Daniels, Declan Consoli, Joe Meegan, George Guest, Joshua Brown, Ben Dakin, Joshua Ferguson, Aaron Dickson, Ryan Narey, George Sellars, Jack Cryer, George Brown, Ben Fairburn, Ben Ramsden, Pedro Quintas, Ciaran Moulds, Euan Sessford.