KEIGHLEY RUFC, full of confidence after three victorious pre-season games, almost came a cropper against newly-promoted Baildon, but edged to a 21-16 win in their opening day Yorkshire Two clash.

The early stages of the game were tentative, with both teams testing each other out.

After some early opposition forays, Keighley opened the scoring with a penalty from outside half Alex Brown.

Not to be outdone, Baildon, with some excellent accurate interplay, pressured the home side into conceding a penalty that outside half Ollie Williams duly converted.

There followed a period of Baildon dominance. This culminated in a well-taken try for centre Matt Robinson.

Although Keighley had plenty of possession, their forwards lost it too easily in the contact area and the team were distinctly second best, forced to live off slow ball.

In the second half, Baildon started as they left off, with some slick play from Williams and full back Josh Duxbury putting Keighley under pressure.

However, the home defence was strong, and at last the Keighley forwards began their fightback.

With their scrum exerting pressure, and some good hard running from both forwards and backs, Baildon were forced to give ground and concede penalties, one of which Brown converted.

When one of Baildon's main men, powerful number eight Connor Brown, was yellow carded, Keighley were able to take advantage with a well worked try for Sean Kelly, converted by the home side's Brown.

Hard work and some hard straight running from centre Adam Horsfall forced the Baildon midfield to compress, and led to a further penalty for Brown.

The no frills midfield strategy together with scrum dominance gave Keighley the edge.

A superb long run by second row Luke Carter was only stopped just short of the Baildon line.

The ensuing Baildon scrum was shunted backwards, and the stolen possession gave scrum half George Marshall the chance to dance through beaten forwards to score.

With the end in sight, Baildon made a concerted fight back. Some clever handling found their number eight Brown on the rampage, and he drove through some weak tackling to score wide out.

Keighley were forced to defend some sustained attacks late on, and the pressure resulted in a well struck penalty for Baildon’s excellent full back Josh Duxbury.

At the final whistle, Keighley probably on balance just about deserved their victory, with Baildon well worth their losing bonus point.