Yorkshire One: West Leeds 31 Keighley 28

KEIGHLEY came within minutes of beating second-placed West Leeds in a thrilling end-of-season clash.

They started badly when a poor kick out of defence gave the hosts good field position. Moving the ball quickly through the backs put the visitors' defence under pressure and a deft kick over the top led to confusion between two defenders which gave outside half Dale Breakwell the opportunity to cross wide out. He also added the conversion.

Keighley settled and moved the ball well, using big centres Ben Blackwell and Adam Horsfall to full advantage. The pressure led to a penalty for Alex Brown.

A few minutes later number eight Hamish Pratt picked up from the back of a scrum to find Horsfall in support and the big man claimed a well-taken try. West Leeds replied with a forward drive and a neat try for winger Jack Marshall, Breakwell adding the difficult conversion.

Keighley, now in full stride, used their forwards and backs well, responding with two further penalties for Brown.

The game continued to flow from end to end. A promising attack by West Leeds broke down when Brown intercepted. Scrum half Allan Ebrell was in support and, taking on the final defender, he slipped the ball to winger Joe Copperwaite, who scored in the corner. Brown added the extras but West Leeds had the final say of the first half with a penalty from Breakwell.

The second half was frantic as both teams attempted to force the pace. West Leeds' pack drove over the try line from a line-out, Breakwell adding the conversion.

But Keighley, with their forwards driven on by Smith Brown and Hamish Pratt, responded. Once again they used their straight-running centres to their advantage. The result was a further try for supporting winger Joe Copperwaite converted by Brown.

Keighley were on top but they couldn't convert territorial advantage into points. Although they had a number of relatively simple scoring opportunities, they were too intent on taking contact or attempting the miracle ball when simple hands would have done the job.

With a matter of minutes remaining, West Leeds, against the run of play, made a final effort which resulted in a try for Breakwell, who finished the scoring with the conversion.

Keighley's final league match is at home to Yarnbury on Saturday, April 22.