Keighley 13

Old Brodleians 21

BLUSTERY wet conditions led to an often dour Yorkshire Division One contest, the result of which was determined by a mostly dominant visitor’s pack.

The early signs were promising for a Keighley side lacking influential backs Jake Duxbury and Sean Kelly and, in spite of the looming threat of the Brodleians’ forwards, the home side soon applied pressure on a tight defence.

A strong run by Adam Horsfall took play to the visitor’s 22-metre area and a sound scrum by Keighley’s pack forced a penalty which skipper Alex Brown was unable to convert into points.

Keighley maintained the initiative and a good build-up by the forwards released the backs, enabling Joe Copperwaite to deliver a timely pass to wingman Leon Hobson-Sheriff who touched down in the corner.

Forwards Tom Willson and Adam Kemp were prominent as Keighley matched in loose play the superior efforts of the Brodleians forwards in the scrums and lineouts.

However as half time approached Keighley were forced illegally to defend their line against some powerful scrummaging, leading to referee Hugh Sterndale-Smith awarding the visitors a penalty try and home second row man Luke Carter a yellow card.

Brown restored Keighley’s lead with a penalty goal but, in a flurry of late activity, it was the visitors who edged ahead before the break with a try by impressive New Zealander Joe Kafatolu converted by wingman Phil Town.

Brodleians began the second half strongly as Keighley wilted under a spell of constant pressure, leading to a try by centre Michael Briggs, improved by Town.

Some fine kicking from hand by Brown kept Keighley in the game, setting up a prolonged but unsuccessful assault by the forwards on the visitor’s line.

The home backs, however, were forced to live on a meagre diet of scraps and keen tackling nullified the rare attacking chances until centre Alan Ebbrell finished off a good move to cross wide out.

In spite of some spirited running by Copperwaite there was insufficient time for Keighley to threaten the lead further.

It was perversely a game they could have won but on balance the visitor’s success was deserved.

The defeat leaves Keighley in 10th place in the table, on 35 points, with 12 defeats out of 19 games this season.