Yorkshire Division One:

Keighley 19

Heath 17

WITH time ebbing away, Keighley had a straightforward penalty chance in front of the posts to haul themselves level at 17-17.

However, sensing that Heath were weakening and fancying their chances, they opted to go for a try.

With errors costing them attacking opportunities though and a try on the left by Joe Copperwaite being ruled out for a forward pass, the decision almost backfired on the hosts.

But they kept believing and, in the fourth minute of added time, Copperwaite, using full back Alfie Seeley outside him as a foil, cut between two visiting defenders to get the winning try.

"Never in doubt", joked Kenny Dyson and Martyn Long from the Keighley faithful, but it was a close-run thing.

"We were not interested in the draw," admitted Keighley fly half Alex Brown afterwards.

"We wanted to go for the double (Keighley had won 13-12 at Heath in October)."

Keighley's strength and conditioning coach Scott Dyson said: "We always have belief but when Sneddy (Dan Snowden) knocked on towards the end, I thought maybe that was our last chance.

"We were making too many mistakes but when we moved the ball two or three phases outside their No 10 we knew that we would create chances."

Keighley were given an early reminder of how strong Heath's pack were as they were shunted backwards in a scrum on halfway when Brown's kick-off failed to reach the ten-metre line.

But the visitors were happy to take the lead via an Ezra Hinchliffe penalty in the 29th minute as the home defence held out.

Full back Jordan Bradbrook, who slipped at the vital moment when trying to sidestep, and winger Jack Bruce both made breaks which came to nothing, and the Halifax side must have been wondering quite how they failed to score at least one try in the first half.

Keighley were more clinical, a Ben Blackwell break putting them in a decent position for Leigh Sugden to score a try down the blindside in the 35th minute.

Brown converted and, showing good continuity and moving the big visiting pack around, the home side grabbed a second try in first-half stoppage time, right winger Jack Atkinson scoring for Brown to again convert.

With an unlikely 14-3 interval lead, playing the game at pace and with width seemed the way forward for Keighley in the second half, but they conceded an early penalty and, from the line-out, centre Jack Sheldrake broke blind to score.

Hinchliffe's conversion made it 14-10 and the match settled into a pattern of set-pieces and home errors, both of which suited Heath.

Keighley's replacement scrum half Lucas Uren was sin-binned in the 56th minute for an offence in their red zone and, for a while, the match became feisty, with Heath No 8 Richard Brown involved in one memorable dust up behind referee Phil Gordge's back.

Powerful No 8 Richard Brown got a pushover try off the back of a five-metre scrum seven minutes later, however, Hinchliffe's conversion giving the visitors a three-point advantage.

But they spent much of the final 20 minutes in defence as Keighley either tried to use their forwards and centre Blackwell to engineer an opportunity for their other backs or gave it width earlier to try and give Seeley or Copperwaite an opportunity.

Replacement Chris Moore was sin-binned in the 73rd minute as Gordge (East Yorkshire Society) pinged Heath for persistent team offending.

But still the home mistakes kept Heath's lead alive as prop Craig Spencer and flanker Dan Snowden knocked on in promising positions and Copperwaite had that try disallowed in the 80th minute for a forward pass near the Heath 22.

It looked as if time had run out on Keighley but rugby league products Seeley and Copperwaite combined beautifully both with and without the ball to allow the latter to get the winning try.

Brown's conversion missed the mark but it didn't matter as the final whistle them blew to end Heath's five-match winning run and leave Keighley in sixth place in what is a tight battle for positions four to seven.