Yorkshire Division One: Selby 14 Keighley 17

KEIGHLEY were made to work very hard for their Yorkshire Division One victory at a determined Selby.

The home team came out of the blocks very quickly, and some excellent attacking play caused the visiting defence a great deal of difficulty.

When Keighley managed to get possession, they were unable to put enough phases together, and were robbed too often at the breakdown by Selby’s excellent back row.

After 20 minutes, Selby’s driving play, and skilful work from outside half Scott Hunt, led to a try for full back George Stoker, who crossed in the corner, with Hunt adding a difficult conversion.

Keighley then managed, against the run of play, to capitalise on a number of the opposition’s handling errors.

With Rob Baldwin and Dan Snowden to the fore, they managed to drive play upfield, and a mazy run from winger Joe Copperwaite and quick hands from the backs found centre Adam Horsfall in full flow for a try wide out to which Alex Brown added the extras.

Not to be outdone, however, Selby were soon back in opposition territory, a strong scrum giving No 8 Charlie Cicero the chance to sell an outrageous dummy before sending scrum half Danny Wilkinson over near the posts.

Hunt added the conversion, and the hosts started the second half strongly, having the confidence to move the ball around and often changing the point of contact, which caused the Keighley defence problems.

However, Horsfall, leading the defence in midfield, was awesome, the sheer ferocity of his tackling managing to keep Selby at bay.

Eventually the visitors managed some decent possession and raised the tempo of their game, with intelligent play from Brown creating space for a second try for Horsfall, again converted by Brown.

Slowly Keighley, with replacement Hamish Pratt making a big impression in all phases of play, managed to maintain the tempo and pressure, which led to a long-range penalty that Brown converted.

Selby attempted to raise their game, but Keighley, with their noses in front, closed the game down, holding onto the ball, which starved Selby of possession and field position.

Although Selby had played really well, being combative throughout, they were forced to accept defeat in a game that could have gone either way.

However, Keighley, having made improvements on the previous week’s performance, still have some way to go to make an impression on this notoriously difficult league.