Yorkshire One: Keighley 7 Old Rishworthians 27

KEIGHLEY’S poor run of form continued when they were beaten convincingly by fellow strugglers Old Rishworthians. For 15 minutes the home side flattered to deceive, penning the visitors in their own half and launching attacks through forwards and backs.

After five minutes, good work by the pack led to centre Adam Horsfall picking a perfect line to charge over under the posts with Alex Brown converting.

Gradually, however, Keighley’s influence on proceedings began to wane. In spite of determined work by forwards James Fox, Sam Booker and Hamish Pratt, the heavier Rishworth pack became increasingly effective.

In particular, huge props Joshua Crickway and Harry Whitfield were causing problems with which Keighley struggled to keep on terms.

A powerful maul to the line was held up by brave Keighley defence, but the visitors maintained the pressure to be rewarded with a penalty goal by No 10 Josh Kelly.

Midway through the half Crickway belied his considerable bulk when he dashed through the flimsy Keighley defence to touch down after a 30-metre run to give his side a narrow 8-7 lead at half-time.

The sides seemed to be evenly matched as the second period started but Keighley’s forwards began to tire in the face of the relentless pressure of the visitors' pack.

A sustained assault from close range eventually brought a try for centre Ben Waud converted by Kelly. Soon afterwards more solid scrummaging led to a try for wingman Oliver Scrimshaw and any hopes of a Keighley revival were dashed.

Their cause was further hindered when forward Pratt was dismissed to the sin bin and Horsfall left the field with an ankle injury.

Keighley’s potentially dangerous backs were forced to live off scraps of possession, with wingman Joe Copperwaite looking the most likely to trouble the defence, but poor handling spoiled other chances and the role of the back division was largely defensive.

It was left to replacement Nick Faulkener to complete the try-scoring for Rishworth, with Kelly converting.

All in all it was a disappointing afternoon for Keighley. While they could point to a handful of missing players as an excuse, too many failed to achieve their potential.

There is enough talent and ability for the side to turn the season round and hopefully the return to fitness and availability of several key players will pay dividends in the near future.

Keighley visit Hullensians on Saturday.