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Hills too hot for battling Keighley
10:38am Thursday 4th October 2012 in Sport
Wheatley Hills 47 Keighley 9
Unbeaten North East One leaders Wheatley Hills showed their power and class with a seven-try demolition of Keighley.
After a tentative start the visitors took the lead with a penalty from Alex Brown.
A few minutes later Wheatley’s full back John Woodcock joined the back line and carved up the Keighley defence to score a try which he also converted.
Although Brown kept Keighley in the game with a further penalty, Wheatley Hills were dominating the majority of exchanges.
The Utley side defended well and made numerous excursions into home territory but they could not crack the Hills solid defence.
Gaining good possession in mid-field, Keighley chose to kick rather than use the overlap they had created on the right.
The kick was charged down and, with all the visiting backs set up for an attacking play, Wheatley’s powerful No 8 Gareth Burns capitalised on the opportunity to score under the posts, Woodcock converting.
Keighley raised their game and attacked at every opportunity, especially through centres Scott Dyson and Ben Blackwell.
However, the home defence snuffed out any realistic hope of a score.
Prompted by ex-England player-coach David Scully, Hills regained the initiative.
A penalty kick gave them a good line-out position in Keighley’s five-metre area. After some staunch defence, the Wheatley pack eventually managed to power over the try line, Burns claiming the touchdown.
Once again, Woodcock, who certainly had his kicking boots on, landed the difficult conversion.
As the half-time break app-roached, Keighley earned just rewards for their efforts with another penalty from Brown.
In the second half Keighley battled well and had two good chances to score after some fine charging runs from second row Ashley Waligura, but once again last-ditch defence kept them out.
In the final ten minutes, with Keighley feeling the strain, Wheat-ley Hills cut loose, leading to tries for both wingers and hooker Mark Cahill, all of which were converted by Woodcock.
Burns capped a fine individual performance with his third try in the corner.
The result in many respects flattered the hosts.
Keighley had given their all and were committed to an expansive game – had they played more conservative rugby the scoreline would have been closer.
However, Wheatley, with their more experienced team, were always likely to win this encounter and look a good bet for promotion.
This Saturday Keighley have another difficult game at home to Sheffield.