Yorkshire Merit League West: Keighley Academy 10 Old Crossleyans II 5

KEIGHLEY Academy secured another vital league win in conditions which made free-flowing rugby a non-starter.

The hosts were quickest out of the blocks with some early pressure on the Crocs line. Danny Bowness, in only his second game for the club, picked up the ball from the base of the ruck and charged over from close range but the conversion attempt missed.

If Keighley thought this was going to be a stroll they were mistaken. A spell of Crocs pressure and hosts' mistakes led to an equalising try on 17 minutes.

From then on it was nip and tuck, with both sides enjoying good spells but unable to turn possession into points.

It wasn't until the 28th minute that the deadlock was broken with a second try from Bowness from close range after great pressure from a confident Keighley pack.

With conditions not conducive to accurate kicking, another conversion attempt was missed, giving Keighley a well-earned 10-5 interval lead.

With the wind and rain at the hosts' backs in the second half, Adam Balderstone gained good yards on numerous occasions kicking from hand. That laid the foundation for the pack, who were dominant in both attack and defence.

Balderstone and James Tillotson in the halves gave good ball to captain Neil Jordan, who worked tirelessly all afternoon and provided a springboard for the backs.

As the second half ticked away, the conditions deteriorated and the penalty count began to rise to epic proportions, making for a poor spectacle.

Keighley's dogged defence and superb teamwork kept Old Crocs at bay to clinch a well-earned victory.

Jordan Yaxley earned the man of the match with yet another strong performance, closely followed by two-try Bowness.