Yorkshire Division One: Keighley 17 Heath 20

KEIGHLEY had to be content with a losing bonus point after a close game.

Heath, who had a significantly bigger pack, played to their strengths and had a direct approach.

From the off, they stormed Keighley’s try line, but a solid, well-organised defence kept them out.

Losing the ball in contact allowed Alex Brown to find good field position, but the misfiring line-out let the visitors off the hook.

Keighley, with the back row once again in fine form, built up pressure, and quick-thinking scrum half Jonny Clark snatched up a loose ball at a breakdown to score, with Brown converting.

Heath, with their forwards on the front foot, then battered their way upfield, causing problems for defenders and earning two penalties from scrummage infringements which the sure-footed Ezra Hinchcliffe converted.

The second half started well for Keighley.

Wing-forward Lucas Uren took a quick tap penalty and, making ground, he found Brown in support, and a long, floated pass to Joey Sugden gave the big winger space on the outside.

He drew the last man before delivering a try-scoring pass to full back Alfie Seeley, who crossed in the corner.

Keighley were playing some neat rugby, and endeavoured to move the ball wide at every


However, Heath made quick possession difficult, which allowed their defence to counter a number of promising attacks.

At this stage of the game, Heath were well aware of Keighley’s weakness in the scrum, and pressure was exerted, leading to a string of penalties and subsequent territorial advantage. Heath, scenting a score, exerted pressure at a scrum on the Keighley five-metre line.

Unable to contain the pressure, the scrum kept collapsing and, as a result, the referee had no option but to award a penalty try.

A little later, Keighley gave away a soft try, when a forward took it upon himself to clear the ball upfield.

The kick was easily charged down and was a gift for forward Martin Barnes.

With a matter of minutes remaining, Keighley clawed their way upfield, and gained a penalty in a kickable position.

Captain and kicker Brown decided to gamble and kick to touch.

Although the line-out ball was won, the Heath forwards made life difficult and killed off any chance of a possible score.