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Tries from rucks count against Keighley
Rob Wilkinson is about to pounce for Keighley's first try as Micky Phillips looks on. Picture: Charlie Perry
Keighley 13, Morpeth 25
Keighley started this SSE North One East game well, testing out the defence at every opportunity.
Morpeth, working their way into the game, found it difficult to break down a resilient Keighley defence.
Changing tactics, they chose to kick deep into Keighley territory, where a number of fumbles gave them good possession.
The deadlock was broken when Morpeth scrum half Henry Cunningham broke around the edge of a poorly defended ruck to score.
Keighley replied with a penalty from Alex Brown but a matter of minutes later a loose kick out of defence and a poor first-up tackle gave Morpeth’s full back Lynas Francis the space he needed, darting through the entire Keighley pack to score a fine individual try, centre James Phillips adding the onversion.
As half-time approached, Keighley struggled to contain the dominant Morpeth forwards, and the pressure eventually told when Cunningham scored his second try, once again darting around the edge of a ruck.
In the second half, the Keighley forwards raised their game, pressurising Morpeth at every breakdown, and they managed to give their backs some decent ball.
Their efforts were rewarded when full back Rob Wilkinson crossed in the corner, Morpeth replying with two penalties from Phillips.
Keighley, in the ascendancy, gave it their all, but were lacking in composure, and as a result a number of opportunities were allowed to slip away.
Nearing the final whistle, Keighley’s centre Harry Titley gave the scoreline some respectability when he latched onto a long pass to sprint over in the corner.