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Gritty Keighley go clear at top
12:47pm Thursday 14th February 2013 in Sport
Cross Park 6 Keighley 28
Keighley extended their lead at the top of the Pennine League Championship Division to three points with victory as nearest rivals West Bowling lost 20-12 at Knottingley.
On a small, muddy pitch, Keith Dixon’s side were unable to repeat the open, flowing rugby they had played the previous week but they still came away with the two points.
Keighley looked in charge from the start, forcing an error from the home team on their first set with some strong defence.
But they could not turn the good work into points and the Halifax hosts settled into the match.
However, Keighley opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Cross tried to move the ball wide to go round the defence but Joe Copperwaite read the play and intercepted before racing 70 yards to score under the posts, Kris Gott adding the two points. The lead was increased when Gott showed good footwork before offloading to Rick Leatham, who crossed in the corner.
It was only a matter of time until Keighley added to their score and it came through Leatham after Danny Barrett had made a break on the blindside to make it 14-0.
Gott crossed himself in the 42nd minute, again after good footwork, but his radar with the boot was not working as the conversion was missed.
Keighley came unstuck when, pressing the home side’s line, Barrett was held just short but instead of playing the ball for a certain try on the short side, with the visitors outnumbering the defence, he gave a penalty away.
It resulted in King Cross gaining yards down the field before Gott gave away a second penalty. Some poor defence let the hosts in to cross by the side of the posts and the extra points were added.
After some strong words from Dixon, Keighley got back on track, with the home side again tiring under pressure.
Barrett crossed from close range but Copperwaite, who had taken over the kicking, missed the goal.
Keighley should have had crossed the line more times but overplayed, using the short side when moving the ball wide was the best option.
However, they had the last word when Jamie Stephenson used a little side-step to cross by the posts and also convert.
This was not the best of games to watch but the result was never in doubt.
Keighey travel to Doncaster-based Moorends on Saturday (2.30pm).