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Mistakes cost Keighley dear against Sharlston
Buy this photo » Danny Spencer scored Keighley's opening try
Keighley 12 Sharlston Rovers 46
Last year’s Pennine League Premier Division, Yorkshire Cup, National Cup and Pennine Presidents Cup winners Sharlston were just too good for Keighley at Rose Cottage.
Playing up the slope in the first half, the hosts made good inroads into the visitors’ half but some sound defence kept them at bay.
Sharlston crossed the line first after some poor defence from Keighley.
The home side’s only downfall in the first half was trying to play football in their own half and coming up with errors, turning the ball over in the wrong parts of the field and giving the visitors good position to attack in.
However, Keighley were back in the game when centre Danny Spencer crossed the line after out-sprinting the defence to score out wide on the left, Callam Hudson adding the conversion.
But the hosts were still their own worst enemy, conceding possession in their own half. With a top side like Rovers, it was only a matter of time before they crossed again.
This they did, moving the Keighley defence around the field and exploiting their lack of numbers on the Sharlston left.
To their credit, the Rose Cottage side did play some good rugby but the mistakes meant they had to defend for longer than they should have and this lead to fatigue.
Again, they were found short of numbers on their right and Sharlston crossed again.
Just 18-6 down at the break and with the slope in their favour, Keighley were still in the game.
But some good goal-line defence was needed to keep Sharlston at bay early in the second half and then Rovers extended their lead following a scrum and a missed tackle. The home side kept on pressing when they got into the right areas of the field and reward came when Shaun Metcalfe crossed under the posts.
At 24-12 with around 20 minutes to go, Joe Copperwaite made a break from inside his own half.
As he came to the full back he passed inside to Spencer, who was caught from behind. Instead of taking the tackle and playing the ball quickly, he tried to force a pass back to Copperwaite and the ball was regathered by the visitors.
The game then slipped away from the hosts in the last 15 minutes.
Keighley’s normally-solid defence was overcome by fatigue and the visitors ran in four more tries.
Danny Glassell (2), Lee Lingard, Luke Beecher, Steve Dooler, Sean Emblem, Danny Richardson and Brian Sutton were Sharlston’s try-scorers.
Keighley will have to learn from their errors quick when they travel to Hunslet Old Boys on Saturday.
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