Strength in depth keeps Keighley top

Keighley 30 Moorends Thorne Marauders 4

Despite missing players through work commitments and injury, Keighley maintained their 100 per cent home record to stay top of the table.

Up against a big visiting side from Doncaster, the hosts showed from the start they were up to the physical test with some impressive defence, particularly from Rob Spencer.

However, in attack, Keighley were trying to cross the line on every play and therefore failed to complete their sets for the first ten minutes.

The home side opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour, Andrew Stokes crossing the line from acting half-back through some poor tackling and Kriss Gott adding the two points.

Keighley were playing up the slope but kept breaking the Moorends line and the pressure took its toll after 20 minutes when good work from Chris Price put Paul Bradwell away in the corner.

Moorends kept plugging away and, when the home side were caught short by a lack of numbers on the fringe, some good handling saw them touch down out wide.

Keith Dixon’s side had the last word of the half, though, as Stokes crossed under the posts after a 60-metre run, leaving a trail of defenders behind him after a good ball from Shaun Metcalfe put him through the gap.

Gott converted to make it 16-4 to Keighley at the break.

The hosts increased their lead two minutes after the restart, Owen Palmer crossing after some great work from Price to break the line and some slick handling from Spencer, Rick Leatham and Ben Woolard, who made the final pass to Palmer to race in from 30 metres.

Moorends refused to give up but by the 60th minute were out on their feet. Keighley capitalised as Leatham crossed after some good support work and offloading from Daz Lynham and Danny Barrett.

The hosts continued to make good yards through their forwards, in particular Price, Metcalfe and Chris Atkins. They completed the scoring when Barrett darted over from acting half-back.

Victory was a big confidence-booster for Keighley, who travel to King Cross Park (Halifax) on Saturday (2.30pm).

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