Keighley returned to winning ways in Counties One Yorkshire, moving back up to second with a hard-fought 27-20 victory over a good Wensleydale side.

The game was somewhat disjointed, probably due to the poor weather conditions, but it started well enough, with both teams doing their best to play some rugby.

Keighley countered some early forays from the visitors and slowly began to build some attacking moves through solid forward play and good hands in the backs.

In attempting to stem the flow of attacks, Wensleydale were forced into conceding a large number of penalties. Alex Brown converted three of them to give the home team a decent lead.

Wensleydale, prompted by some hard driving play from the forwards, ably led by powerful number eight Robert Stanwix, fought their way back into contention.

Quick hands from scrum half Thomas Palk-Meikle and elegant centre Jack Reynard took play deep into Keighley territory and good possession from a lineout was driven over the line by Stanwix.

Raynard converted to bring the scores back to 9-7, before Keighley got back on the front foot.

Some excellent work from wing forward Olly Snowden and new boy hooker Jack Gallacher forced the opposition into conceding yet another penalty.

They declined the easy three points, choosing instead to kick the corner, but there was no reward for their endeavour.

Keighley did add to their total before half-time, as Brown landed an easy penalty to stretch the narrow lead.

In the second half both teams upped their game, with early Keighley pressure rewarded with yet another penalty for Brown.

Wensleydale, intent on getting back into the game, forced a midfield Keighley scrum backwards.

With his forwards in retreat home scrum-half Nathan Pickles did well to get the ball to his outside half Brown, who quickly kicked cross field.

WInger Sam Blakeley caught the ball on the full and swerved past the last defender to score wide out and put his side 20-7 in front.

Wensleydale rallied and their efforts earned a penalty for kicker Raynard.

Gaining confidence and good possession, Wensleydale gained the upper hand and after a series of driven mauls, there was a second try from number eight Stanwix, converted by Reynard.

The game was finely balanced and Keighley, under severe pressure, were letting the opposition backs into the game.

A further penalty for Reynard drew the scores level at 20-20, but Keighley did well to hold their nerve in the closing stages.

A Keighley scrum in the Wensleydale half provided quick possession that gave outside half Brown the opportunity to put centre Adam Horsfall into a gap and, moving at pace, he stepped a defender to power his way over.

Brown added the conversion to make the score 27-20 to the hosts and with less than 10 minutes remaining Keighley sensibly played safety first rugby, keeping play deep in the opposition half.

Although Wensleydale tried hard they were unable to break free from the Keighley stranglehold, leading to a battling victory for the hosts, and a deserved losing bonus point for the hosts.

Keighley have been given a home walkover victory in their opening Yorkshire Shield tie with Wetherby next Saturday, so their next game is back in Counties One Yorkshire, an away trip to West Leeds on Saturday, October 14.