Keighley 16 West Bowling 16
Keighley came agonisingly close to victory over their Bradford neighbours in their first game of 2014 but had to settle for a share of the spoils.
The Rose Cottage hosts narrowly pipped Bowling to the Champion-ship title last season and there was little to choose between these two promoted sides who are establishing themselves in the top flight.
After losing the toss, Keighley played down hill in the first half.
The game didn’t start well for Keith Dixon’s side, with the hosts not having any possession until the sixth minute and by that time Bowling had scored a converted try through Ben Heald.
Some strong running by Brett Campbell and Tony Kennedy enabled Keighley to push Wests back but they failed to convert the pressure into points.
Bowling capitalised with a breakaway try from Jordan Laban, which had a suspicion of a forward pass in the build-up.
Keighley got back into the game when a slipped pass from Danny Snowden gave Chris Dooling the space to burrow over the line, Joe Copperwaite adding the extras.
The start of the second half saw a big improvement for Keighley, who kept Bowling pinned in their own half.
The pressure finally gave debutant Aaron Nicholson the chance to power over next to the posts and Copperwaite added the extras again.
With their noses in front, Keighley scented victory but they just couldn’t finish the game off.
Instead, Bowling struck back with a 50-metre try from Jason Marshall following a missed tackle.
With five minutes to go, Keighley pushed hard for what they hoped could be the match-winning try.
Nicholson crossed again wide out but unfortunately Copperwaite missed the conversion, which meant the hosts had to settle for a draw.
Keighley visit Halifax Irish on Saturday when they hope to continue their good form of the second half.