Keighley Albion 54

Cutsyke Raidettes 12

KEIGHLEY Albion Ladies capped off a successful season by gaining promotion to the Championship after a convincing play-off victory.

On a glorious afternoon the ladies travelled in style to Manchester to play the final game of a great season. Sporting a full squad of 20 for the first time, Keighley selected a strong 13.

Within minutes of kick-off, Emma Templeton, with a great long pass, scored out wide for Keighley and added the two points.

Laura Ackroyd stole a ball from a mistake on Cutsyke's 10-metre line to a roar of cheers from the travelling supporters. Templeton also added extras.

Cutsyke pushed the Keighley defence to breaking point and managed to steal a try and kick. Some fantastic plays from the middle of the park but did not get the rewards.

The rest of the first half was a tough tussle and Keighley looked unusually unsettled to make it 12-6 at the interval.

In the second period Keighley came out to pay the price of a sloppy ball straight after kick-off when Cutsyke intercepted the gift and the score levelled at 12-12.

In a twist, this woke Keighley up to the fact this play-off final win could slip away.

Some determined breaks from Shillito and sisters Nikola and Rachel brought the crowd back to life.

Sarah Cartwright held the Cutsyke at bay with terrier tackling.

Templeton made a break and scores also kicks Albion are back. Sarah Shillito, with a quick move from acting half, found Dot King to move the score in the right direction.

Moments later Shillito herself fended off the Raidettes to dive over for Albion.

The Keighley side-foot was clearly off the break and firmly on the accelerator and the crowd cheered as Albion gained confidence and began to control the second half.

Nicole Hannah and Saima Hussain were flying at the advancing Raidettes and proved too much and Cutsyke started to make mistakes. Forwards Anneka and Lottie Knowles tackled their hearts out .

After a great passage of play King, again with pace, set off and left the Raidettes standing and scored out wide.

Shillito, on fire, dived over the line but also saw her take an injury to her wrist that took her out of the final minutes of the game.

Carnage followed when Templeton went on a rampage run with five hand-offs, claiming five Cutsyke players.

The crowd on their feet cheered as Templeton put the ball down for her hat-trick and also claimed the kick. Also during the second-half, captain Jodee Loader went on a determined run and scored.

Templeton took player of the match and has also claimed top try scorer of league one and top points scorer coupled with top player of the match awards in League One. A fitting end to a fantastic team effort.

Sarah Lancaster, Albion team manager, said: "The team can relax now with some down time off for winter but will continue to recruit to strengthen the squad.

"Thanks again go to volunteers and coaching staff and players for bringing home this amazing win."

Their play-off final victory follows Albion reaching the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup in June and winning the Women's Rugby League Association Plate the previous month.