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Maximum points haul for Keighley after open game
Keighley 46, Pontefract 29
This SSE Yorkshire Division One clash yesterday was an excellent game of open rugby.
Early Keighley pressure resulted in a penalty for Alex Brown but Pontefract forced their way back into the game.
From a line-out near the Keighley line, Pontefract took the ball and used their favoured weapon, the rolling maul, to force veteran No 8 Derek Eves over for a deserved try.
Keighley then returned play to Pontefract territory, where quick-thinking scrum half Lucas Uren intercepted the service from a Pontefract line-out to race unopposed to score under the posts, converted by Brown.
The hosts, through forward pressure, kept Ponte pinned in their own half.
A penalty, quickly taken by Danny Price, put the defence under pressure, and a series of quick rucks and quality possession gave full back Danny McGee an opening and a well-taken try wide out, converted by Brown.
At this stage of the game, Keighley were moving the ball well, causing problems for the Pontefract defence.
At a line-out in the opposition 22, Keighley drove the ball forward and it resulted in a try for hooker Will Armitage.
Pontefract, not to be outdone, responded with a well- executed back move which gave extra man, winger Simon Spears a try in the corner.
Brown, in fine kicking form, finished the first-half scoring with a penalty.
Pontefract started the second half in determined mood, using their big forwards to drive up the middle, Keighley managed to contain the early pressure and eventually returned to the attack.
Once again, quality possession from the forwards and good hands from the backs pressurised the defence.
Fearing an attack wide out, Pontefract split the defence, giving Armitage the chance to cut through the middle for his second try, converted by Brown.
A few minutes later, Keighley's Marco Ferrazzano finished off some excellent interplay between forwards and backs to score under the posts, Brown adding the conversion.
With a 29-point difference in the scoreline, Keighley were then guilty of losing concentration.
Pontefract raised their game and, once again through the rolling maul, forced Eves over in the corner.
The visitors, with a lot of good possession, put Keighley under pressure but some sloppy handling gave home winger Sam Walker the ball and a 75-metre race to score under the posts, converted by Brown.
Pontefract, to their great credit, were determined to chase the game, once again a muscular rolling maul giving Eves his well-earned third try, converted by full back Steve Johnson.
With time running out and a tired-looking Keighley defending for all they were worth,Pontefract finished the game off with a try for replacement Richard Maw, converted by Johnson for a well-deserved four-try bonus point.