Keighley Albion u18s 38

Oulton Raiders u18s 12

AFTER a number of weeks not playing it was good to see Keighley Albion Under-18s back in the fold as they hosted Oulton Raiders at Cougar Park, as part of Phil and Karen Stephenson’s charity day in aid of The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The first half was close between the two sides as defences were on top in the main with Albion’s efforts being led by Liam Brookes, Harvey Kemp, Ethan Lawrie and Joe Dearnley in the opening quarter. Albion opened the scoring after great carries from Charlie Lowrie and Josh Slingsby set the platform as they took Albion into the Oulton half. A good passing move saw Jacob Cox and Harry Normington get the ball wide to Bobby Darbyshire, who ghosted past the Oulton defence to score in the left corner.

From acting half Henry MacNab always looked lively and he took his chance from 25 metres out as he dummied and stepped his way through to touch down adding the conversion to give Albion a 10-0 lead. Oulton hit back through a try in the right corner to peg it back but Albion kept pressing and prop Nico Mori took a short ball from Darbyshire to crash over and give Albion a 14-4 interval advantage.

Into the second half coming down the Cougar Park slope suited Albion as they went up a gear to put the game to bed.

Full-back Lowrie’s efforts were rewarded as throwing would-be defenders off and hard running saw him break through and sprint in to score.

Adam Gaunt sniffed the next try out as with Oulton pressing the Albion line from 20 metres out and, against the run of play, he intercepted and went 80 metres to out-sprint several Oulton chasers and extend Albion’s lead.

Oulton hit back with a second try but after further good drives from Sam Backhouse, Mori and Dearnley Oulton started to wilt and the spaces started to appear.

Darbyshire moved wider to Albion’s left flank and, after gathering a loose pass just inside the Albion half, shook a couple of Oulton defenders off and cut loose down the left centre. The Oulton cover couldn’t catch him and with some neat footwork he stood the Oulton full-back up perfectly and went in under the posts for his second.

From the kick-off Albion received and with the ball worked out to the left channel, not to be out done centre Josh Slingsby showed his turn of pace as he latched on to the end of a passing move.

Slingsby burst through the Oulton tacklers and he again stood up the embattled Oulton full-back to sprint past him and go in to score.

MacNab shook off his rustiness from the first half in kicking one goal from three and landed a perfect four out of four and take Albion’s lead to 38-8.

To their credit, Oulton had a last burst and on the final whistle scored a close range try to close the game out with an Albion victory 38-12.