Keighley Albion show bite in friendly return against Terriers

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Boothtown Terriers A 22 Keighley Albion 40

Keighley Albion’s open age team were back in action after a three-year absence to record a convincing performance in this friendly ahead of their return to the Pennine League next month.

Boasting a mixture of experienced campaigners and under-17s, many of whom were making their open-age debut, Albion, who will play in Division Six, started like they meant business.

However, after a fantastic defensive effort from the first set, a mistake allowed Boothtown to hit the front.

Albion started to gain territorial advantage, resulting in Gav Wild jinking over from acting half, with Callum Hudson slotting the conversion. The same duo then combined to put Keighley in front when Wild took Gary Boocock’s superb offload before drawing the full back, allowing Hudson to scamper over from half way which the latter again converted.

Albion became their worst enemies, conceding a number of penalties which saw them let in two tries. But they ensured they would be level at the break with a typically robust effort from close range by Boocock.

Albion began the second half well, with Chris Atkins barging his way over, but Boothtown levelled shortly after.

A fantastic break from Atkins restored Albion's lead and then brutal defence from Jak Adams saw the same player dislodge the ball in the tackle and sprint over after gathering the loose ball.

Boocock put the icing on the cake by smashing his way over and, despite totally dominating the last 15 minutes, the visitors left at least three further scores out on the field.

Second-half conversions came from Hudson, Stevie Cutler and Danny Bowness. Seventeen-year-old Reece Robertson unanimously took the man of the match award from his team mates after making over 40 tackles on his open-age debut.

This was a fantastic effort from Albion who, aligned to the club’s thriving junior section, hope to re-establish themselves to former glories.

Keighley Albion u-10s 22 Elland u-10s 24

After three weeks off, Albion’s lack of shape and urgency cost them.

Albion started well enough, with Reece Smollen throwing two dummies before scoring out wide and he was followed over with a typical rampaging effort from Ben McParland.

Elland scored after some weak tackling and added a conversion which would ultimately prove decisive.

Despite McParland burrowing over to increase the advantage, more woeful defence saw Elland level after converting all their scores.

Elland started the second half in determined manner and took the lead for the first time. Fantastic individual efforts from Caleb McConville and Smollen kept Albion in the hunt but the visitors took the spoils late on.

Albion awards – magic moment: Mateo Sposato; opposition: Reece Smollen; parents: Caleb McConville; coaches: Henry Thirkill.

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