Pennine League Division Five Keighley Albion 16 Ovenden 30

HAVING lost to their Halifax visitors earlier in the season, Albion were unable to exact revenge in this top-of-the-table clash which saw Ovenden clinch the title.

Mark Smith, Tony Kennedy and Richard Blackburn put in great shifts to keep the Ovenden attack in check before Keighley took the lead.

Alfie Seeley stepped away from acting half and beat his defenders to turn on the gas and race 60 metres for a fine individual try that he converted.

Despite their early score, Albion couldn’t complete their sets in the same way as Ovenden. They gave possession away cheaply through lost balls and penalties, and further ill-discipline saw Blackburn despatched to the sin-bin.

Ovenden capitalised to score in the left corner and then, after another knock-on from Albion, cross in the right corner to make it 8-6.

Albion’s task would have been all the greater if it hadn’t been for a couple of try-saving tackles from Alex Young.

Keighley’s cause definitely wasn’t helped by some strange refereeing decisions particularly when, just before half-time, an Ovenden player patted the ball down during an Albion attack.

As Albion stopped for the scrum for a knock-on, the referee waved play on and the visiting player gratefully picked up the ball and went in under the posts to give his side a ten-point lead.

Captain Chris Price was then sin-binned for questioning the referee’s decision.

In the opening stages of the second half 12-man Albion played their most settled rugby and were rewarded when winger Ben Benfield (pictured) latched onto a long pass to go in at the corner.

But errors continued to cost them. After they conceded a penalty for not packing down in the scrum correctly, the Ovenden left centre went in and claimed his hat-trick on the next attack to give them a 16-point lead.

Albion rallied briefly as Chris Atkins went in off a great short ball from Blackburn, with Seeley adding the goal. Ovenden had the last word, however, as their left centre crossed again.

Albion travel back to Ovenden in the Halifax Cup on Saturday, when it is hoped regular centres Jamie Stephenson and Chris Spencer are available. A more disciplined approach is needed if they are to get anything.