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Ben Blackwell's two tries cannot mask Keighley deficiencies
Keighley 10, Scarborough 17
This was a poor start for the home team, who were comprehensively outplayed by a better side in SSE Yorkshire Division One.
The early exchanges were something of an arm wrestle but as time went on, Scarborough, through good, basic rugby, began to dominate territory and possession.
The Keighley forwards grafted well but the majority of the possession was squandered by poor execution of basic skills and lack of vision in the three-quarters.
Although the visitors' back line were well organised and intent on moving the ball wide at every opportunity, the Keighley defence was solid enough, even though a number of first-up tackles lacked composure.
Eventually a loose pass between the Scarborough centres wrong-footed the Keighley defence, strong New Zealand centre Benji Cottle picking up and charged through a gap to score. Full back Tom Ratcliffe, who had missed an earlier kick at goal, added the conversion.
Keighley increased their efforts through good forward play, especially from Stuart Inman and Scott Dyson, and the possession won by the pack eventually found its way to left winger Sam Walker, who made a number of incisive runs into the opposition territory.
Some good work in midfield gave Keighley’s big centre Ben Blackwell the chance to attack the Scarborough defence, and he carved his way diagonally across field, beating three or four would-be tacklers, to score a superb solo try.
The last ten minutes of the half saw Scarborough return to the ascendency, good ball retention and good handling putting Keighley under serious pressure on a number of occasions. However, the home defence held strong.
In the second half, Keighley started well, Dyson and Marco Ferrazzano making some telling breaks, but the recycled ball was often too slow for the Keighley backs to take full advantage.
Scarborough absorbed the early Keighley pressure and made even bigger efforts to stretch the defence wide out.
Even though they were unable to break through to score, they were able to take play deep into Keighley territory. As a result of the pressure, the defence was deemed to be offside, giving Ratcliffe an easy penalty.
Keeping the pressure on, the Scarborough backs linked well with the forwards, giving prop Nino Cutino the chance to power over wide out, Ratcliffe adding the conversion.
At this stage of the game, Scarborough looked to be coasting, especially when Keighley chose to waste what possession they had through poor, ill-thought random kicking which gave Scarborough even more possession and the chance to mount more attacks.
With defeat looming large, Keighley fought their way back and camped themselves in the opposition 22-metre area.
Excellent scrummaging from the Keighley pack, with Paul Sinfield and Craig Spencer to the fore, caused the Scarborough scrum to retreat and collapse.
Giving the visiting pack the benefit of the doubt, the referee allowed the scrum to be reset, and unfortunately for Keighley the good possession gained was squandered.
A little later some excellent work from scrum half Ian Woodwiss and a forceful break by second-row Inman found centre Blackwell in support for his second try.
With time running out, Scarborough were content to retain possession, playing safety-first rugby, thus gaining their first winning league points of the season.
Keighley luckily managed to gain a losing bonus point. On Saturday, they have another home game against Heath.
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