Keighley 24 King Cross Park 10
Keighley climbed back to second place as they maintained their unbeaten record with a comfortable victory, despite having to make changes due to work commitments and injuries.
With Bank Top Harriers’ game at New Earswick postponed, the hosts took advantage to leapfrog them and go a point off top spot with a game in hand on leaders West Bowling.
With Callum Hudson and Luke Moorby both back from injury, Keighley built up a slender lead in the first half. King Cross only threatened a couple of times – once from a forward pass and, on the other occasion, Moorby made a great try-saving tackle.
The pack led the way again for the hosts as prop Mark Smith, back in action, bulldozed his way over from hooker Callum Hudson’s short ball. Joe Copperwaite added the two points to put Keighley 6-0 up.
Half-back pairing Rob Spencer and Ricky Leatham unlocked King’s defence before passing out to Jamie Stephenson, who made a good break. He drew his man and set up prop Chris Price, who crossed out wide and Copperwaite added the two points, again from the touchline.
Keighley were dealt a blow when Hudson had to go off with a shoulder injury and Danny Barrett replaced him.
Centre Stephenson made another good break before winger Chris Stead reached King’s 20-metre-mark. From the play-the-ball, Leatham sent a long pass out to Copperwaite and he touched down to make it 16-0 at half-time.
The visitors got on the scoresheet, with veteran loose forward Lee Brook to the fore. He sent a long pass out to winger Matt Brown, who went over in the corner but it was too far out for the conversion.
Cross camped in Keighley’s half for long periods but couldn’t convert territorial advantage into points.
The hosts dug deep as Matthew Mount and Steve Wrench worked tirelessly in the forwards, along with veteran Danny Bowness and Luke Douse.
Keighley extended their lead when Leatham made a great run, after throwing a dummy, before passing to second rower Shaun Metcalfe, who was in good support, to cross and make it 20-4.
King Cross cancelled that try out with their second, Brooks again supplying the pass that put hooker Pat Gilligan through a gap before a side-step around a would-be tackler saw him go over near the posts. Scrum half Callum Dunn added the extras to make it 20-10.
Keighley had the last word with a try from Stead, who went over from dummy half on King’s line. Victory was the ideal preparation as Keighley prepare for their BARLA Yorkshire Cup semi-final at Sharlston Rovers on Saturday.
Division Seven Farnley Falcons 50 Cowling Harlequins 8 Having come so close to victory the previous two weeks, Quins were confident of breaking their duck but the Falcons, coached by ex-Leeds Rhino Mark Calder-wood, had other ideas.
The hosts racked up easy points in the first 20 minutes but, to Cowling’s credit, they kept at it, with good running from second-rowers Adam Haigh and Rob Wilson. Half-back Rob Owlett came close to crossing for their first points but Falcons held a 16-0 lead at the break.
Great tackling from Ross McCormick and Craig Nicholson lifted the battered and bruised Quins and, on 55 minutes, prop Daz Greenwood powered over from a close-range tap penalty to give them a glimmer of hope.
At the very next set of six, captain Nicholson hit an angle on tackle three to burst through and touch down but Dave Gooding just missed the two points.
The result did not reflect the effort Quins had put in and they must pick themselves up for the short journey to Queensbury B on Saturday.