West Bowling 16 Keighley 22
Wingman Ryan Gaughan produced the killer blow with just five minutes to go to give Keighley the spoils in a nerve-jangling Pennine League Premier Division encounter against West Bowling at Emsleys Rec.
Bowling, who were leading 16-14 at that stage, had wingman Shab Khan sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul when he prevented stand-off Rob Spen-cer from playing the ball, handing the visitors the golden opportunity to steal the points.
Both sides were very evenly matched in the opening quarter until substitute forward Nigel Halm-shaw worked his way to the whitewash on his first touch of the ball, leaving scrum half Ben Heald to tag on the extras.
It was a short-lived lead, however, as Keighley rest-ored parity when Spencer produced a wicked cut-out pass to put wingman Owen Palmer over in the corner and full back Kris Gott landed a touchline conversion.
Keighley began to dominate, with breaks by Chris Dooling, Brett Campbell and Chris Spencer.
Wests loose forward Aidy Doherty earned the cheers for five successive tackles but turned hero to villain when he conceded a penalty and Gott made no mistake from 30 metres out.
Keighley hooker Rick Hollins made his bulk count with a plunge to the chalk at the side of the posts and the half came to a close at 14-6 to the visitors when Gott added the conversion.
The second half started like the first, with Bowling catching Keighley cold with a try in the corner.
A neat Doherty offload found Heald, who fed Jason Marshall to dive over.
Heald made sure of the extra two before another sweeping raid, started by hooker Gareth Cullington, created the space for wingman Jordan Laban to cross at the flag.
Stand-off Aidy Leek was producing some crafty play for the hosts but Keighley roared back in great style when Gott cut the home defence to shreds with a 60-metre run down the middle. When the ball was shipped to Spencer, he was held down leading to Khan’s removal from the fray.
Bowling’s tired legs could not prevent Gaughan rounding his opposite number and sprinting over in the corner for the game-breaker on the last tackle and Gott completed his fine afternoon’s work by landing a late penalty when Wests were caught ball-stealing in the tackle.
Spencer was named Keigh-ley’s man of the match, with Leek receiving Bowling’s award.
Keighley coach Keith Dixon was delighted with the victory.
He said: “We muscled up really well. We weren’t strong on numbers and fatigue set in a bit in the second half but we defended so well and dug deep.”
Keighley, who went above their hosts into sixth place with this win, visit Wibsey Warriors on Saturday.